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I *"••! 



TH^ siege of QUEBECi 




"L / 


fitapatriclt Bbition 

The Siege of Quebec 


Battle of the Plains of Abraham 




G. W. 


In 0ix polumest witb plans, portraits and Views 


"* "Quebec 

DussAULT & Proulx 


L^aiO 350.36 

* ^» .' 

1 1 


/Iv-' .x 


S/7 ( 

Copyright igor, hy A. Doughty. 

f ielt) ADarsbal 

Zbc IRiQbt Honourable Earl Itoberts 

CommanOer^fiKbfef of Wb AnicsWs foxcts, 

XLhiS Morll 
Setting fottb tbe Bcbfei^ement0 of 

H Sometime Victorious Xritisb General 

10 re0pectfuUi{ bebfcateb 
b'ft permf00fon 


The site of Wolfe^s final operations against Quebec and 
the scene of his death have been subjects of discussion in 
Canada for several years past. During the year i8g8^ the 
" Battlefield Controversy " wcls renewed with vigour and 
a few monographs were written on the question. 

These interesting contributions to history proved^ how- 
ever^ to be little more than an interpretation of the writings 
of familiar authors. Although new evidence was not brought 
to light by this mcans^ research was stimulated thereby^ and 
investigation in different parts of Europe revealed the fact 
that the most reliable plans of the battle of the Plains of 
Abraham^ cls well as the most complete and authentic 
documents concerning the siege of Quebec^ still remained 
unpublished. The scope of this work which was originally 
intended to be a study of the battle of the Plains^ has 
therefore been enlarged^ and it now embraces a history of 
the siege and the battle^ and a sketch of the lives of the two 

Besides the voluminous official correspondence relating 
to the campaign of 175^^ which is to be found in public 


archives^ private papers of equal or greater value ^ have been 
preserved by the lineal representatives of some of the prin- 
cipal officers of the contending a? mies. The most interesting 
of these are the papers of General Wolfe y of the Marquess 
Townshendy of Brigadiers Monckton^ Murray and de Bou- 
gainville^ the Marquis de Montcalm and the Marquis de 

A few months after the capitulation of Quebec^ numerous 
pamphlets zvere printed containing relations of the siege^ 
which probably had a very limited circulation at the time^ 
and which are fww exceedingly scarce ; in some instances a 
single copy is naiv knoivn to exist. T/iese contemporary 
journals are of the highest value. First because they were 
written from personal obsen^ation^ and secondly^ because 
they relate to particular places. 

Wolfe's army occupied three distifut camps — the Isle of 
Orleans^ Montmorency ^ Point Levis — consequently the diary 
of an officer stationed for a long time at any of these places 
would not probably contain a very reliable summary of the 
daily operations at either of the other places. It is only^ 
therefore^ by consulting several journals written from dif- 
ferent situations that we can obtain a comprehensive personal 
narrative of the siege. 

Realizing the importafue of studying every available 
account written by those who took part in the events nar- 
rated^ the authors have obtained copies of twenty-three 


distinct relations of the siege ; and seventeen plans of the 
battle of the Plains of Abraham^ seven of which are in 
manuscript. A large work could therefore be written on 
the subject^ independent of the standard books which treat 
of this period of history. 

Considering that several of the documents emanate from 
those who held important commissions in the army^ and 
whose actions contributed largely to the achievements of the 
time^ it has been deemed advisable to publish some of the 
papers in extenso^ as an appendix to a narrative of the siege. 

The papers and plans which form apart of these volumes^ 
and those which the authors are unable to include within 
the compass of this work^ elucidate many debated points of 
history ; determine the, site of the battle of the Plains of 
Abraham^ and shed additional light on the characters of 
the principal actors in the drama of ly^g. 

In the collection of the data and in the preparation of 
these volumes^ many distinguished persons have been pleased 
to lend a helping hand^ without which it would not have 
been possible to cuxomplish the undertaking. 

Monseigneur Laflamme^ Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 
the University of Laval ; the Honourable L.-A. Jetti^ 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province^ and the late Honour- 
able F.'G. Marchand^ Prime Minister^ were among the 
first to exert their influence in behalf of the publication. 

The authors desire to acknowledge in a special manner^ 


Mix^mi^ U thrm hy thr N/mmtrMt Ckarlis Fiii^atHdk^ 
r> tk* T^/^mm^'uhu S. \. PafTfU^ Primt JiirnxsUr iff ike 

/k*' 4m/k/>^^ 4il<r rx^fTS$ /i^V thinks. 

J^H , A*^c.> .^^/^rv^iiu:i .^ •iK.^/»v>H{jf , ^'^ /^'ici;u«fcr r the JS^rswr- 
,^*a:' J.^iK^> /> /4' < ^*:?ii*vVW^ Crm:^m:^ ^JhwAA^ : M. Jr amsit 


Esq. M. P.^ London ; C. Francis^ Esq.^ London ; and 
John Horn^ Esq.^ of Montreal. 

Many valuable paintings and objects of interest have 
been reproduced as illustrations to these volumes^ for which 
the authors are indebted to the courtesy of the Right 
Honourable the Countess of Lonsdale^ of Lowther Castle ; 
the Reverend Ladies of the Ursuline Convent^ and of the 
Hotel'DieUy Quebec ; the Right Honourable the Earl of 
Aberdeen ; The Marquis de Montcalm ; the Marquis de 
Lhjis ; M. le comte de Clermont-Tonnerre ; Lord Bar- 
nard^ of Raby Castle ; Monseigneur MaroiSy V. G. and 
the Rev. L. St. G. Lindsay ^ Quebec ; General ^ Sir Hugh 
Goughy V. C. ; Sir H. A. IValsh^ Bart. ; Major Boileau^ 
R. A.; Dr. Fisher ; the Minis t re de la Guerre ^ Paris ; 
Scobell Armstrongs Esq.^ Penzance ; H. T. Machin^ Esq.^ 
F. C. WnrteUy Esq.^ E.J. Hale^ Esq.^ Phi leas Gagnon^ 
Esq.y of Quebec y Messrs Elliot & Fry^ London ^ & Messrs 
Little Brown & Co. Boston. 

The numerous publications of the Quebec Literary and 
Historical Society^ the writings of the AbbS Casgrain^ 
Parkman^ Wright^ Gameau^ and the familiar journals of 
the siege^ have also been consulted during the preparation 
of this work. For the biography of the Marquis de Mont- 
calm^ the authors are indebted to the Hon. Thos. Chapais^ 



Dedication to Field Marshal the Right Honourable Earl 

Roberts, with Portrait v 

Preface vii 

List op Illustrations to First Volume xv 

Events preceding the Siege xix 

77ie condition of Europe — Declaration of War. 


His youth and early Campaigns— Rochefort — Louisbourg, 

LiPE OP Montcalm 129 

His birth — Parentage — Campaigns in Italy — Commander of 
French troops in Canada — His Victory at Carillon, 

Notes to Illustration in First Volume. 


rMajor General James Wolfe. 

Photogravured by the Rembrandt Portrait Studio, from the painting 
in the National Gallery, London. 

^Field Marshal, Lord Roberts, K. G., V. C. 

Photogravured by Hyatt, from a photograph by Elliot & Fry, 


>' Quebec House, the Home of General Wolfe. 

Collotyped by the Rembrandt Portrait Studio, London, from an 
engraving in the possession of Mr. Phileas Gagnon, Quebec. 

^'Her Grace the Duchess of Bolton. 

Photogravured by the Rembrandt Portrait Studio London, from a 
photograph of the miniature by Cosway, in the possession of Lord 
Barnard, of Raby Castle, Darlington. 

"^ A General View of the City of Quebec at the commence- 
ment of the 19^ Century. 

Collotyped by Hyatt from the original model by J. B. Duberger 
and Captain By, in the possession of the Royal Artillery Institution, 

•'Fac-simile of a letter written by General Wolfe to 
Colonel Rickson. 

Collotyped by Hyatt, London, from a photograph by Ingliss, of the 
original in the possession of the National Society of Antiquaries of 

I— B 



^Brigadier Monckton. 

Photogravured by Hyatt, from a rare print in the possession of The 
Right Honourable The Viscount Galway. 

-The Pistols of General Wolfe. 

Collotyped by Hyatt, London, from a photograph of the originals 
in the possession of Dr Fisher, Hoboken, N. J. 

* Fac-simile of the first page of the manuscript book of the 
General Orders of Major, afterwards General Wolfe. 

Collotyped by the Rembrandt Portrait Studio, London, from the 
original in the possession of the Royal United Service Institution, 

^Admiral Sir Charles Saunders. 

Collotyped by Hyatt, from an engraving in the possession of the 

^Major General James Wolfe. 

Photogravured by Hyatt from the painting by Highmore in the 
possession of Scobell Armstrong, Esq., Nancealveme, Penzance. 

^Plan of Quebec. 

Photogravured by The Rembrandt Portrait Studio, London, from a 
photograph by Jean Boy<§r, Paris, of the engraving by Perrier, in the 
Biblioth^que Nationale. 

^Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm-Gozon de Saint- 

Photogravured by the Rembrandt Portrait Studio, London, from a 
photograph of the original painting in the possession of the Marquis de 
Montcalm, Paris. 

^Pierre-Fran5ois Rigaud,Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagfnal. 

Photogravuied by Goupil & Co., Paris, from the painting in the 
possession of M. le comte Jacques de Clermont Tonnerre, Ch&teau de 
Brugny, Marne, by permission of Messrs Little Brown & Co., Boston. 

1LLU^1*RA1*10N^ xvil 

''Fac-simile of a letter signed by Montcalm. 

Collotyped by Hyatt from the original in the possession of the 
Reverend ladies of the Hotel-Dieu, Quebec. 

^ Louis- Antoine de Bougainville. 

Photogravured by Hyatt, from a copy of a painting sent to the 
authors by the Count R. de Kerallain, Quimper, France. 

^Madame Flore de Bougainville. 

Photogravured by Hyatt, from the painting in the possession of 
Madame la Comtesse de Saint Sauveur-Bougainville, St. Germain-en. 

"Fac-simile of Marble Tablet eredled to the memory of 
Montcalm in the Chapel of the Ursuline Convent, Quebec. 

Albcrttyped by The Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Co. Boston, 
from a photograph taken for this work. 

^The Marquis de L6vis. 

Photogravured by Hyatt, from a painting in the possession of the 
Marquis de L^vis, Paris. 

^Plan of the Siege of Quebec. 

After the original manuscript in the British Museum by Captain 
Delbeig, Engineer in Ordinary, Captain Holland, R. A., Asst Engineer, 
and Lieut. DesBarres, R. A. Assistant Engineer. 

Lithographed in six colours by the Forbes Lithograph Manufac- 
turing Co. Boston, from a copy made by E. L. B3rme. 


A N exemplification of the saying that the lives of great 
■'^ men form the history of their times can be found in 
these volumes. The progress of the Seven Years' War in 
America can be traced in the lives of Wolfe and Montcalm, 
more particularly in the life of the latter hero, who from 
his coming to Canada in 1756 till his death in 1759 stands 
out conspicuous amongst friends and foes alike. With his 
death the crisis passed, and although the war still lingered 
the interest of the reader of history is hardly raised again 
above the normal, by the heroic but unavailing efforts of 
Levis in the spring of 1760. Wolfe appears upon the 
scene of conflict in 1758 before Louisbourg, and the story 
of his actions becomes the narrative of the Siege. 

In the following year, the heroes who represented the 
t\vo greatest nations of their time had a common sphere of 
action, and played their parts as became the noble races 
from which they sprafig. The story of the Siege of Quebec 
is the life of Wolfe and Montcalm for a few brief months, 
and their lives the story of the Siege. 

It is assumed that those readers who consult so volumin- 
ous a work as this upon so short an epoch are, at least, 
fairly familiar with the events preceding the final struggle 
for supremacy in America. We may, however, offer a few 


observations upon the part of the seven years' war in Ame- 
rica which was anterior to the appearance of Montcalm or 

In the first place, if we do not • consider the technical 
date of war, as determined by the formal declarations, but 
the date of actual hostilities, we see that " The seven years' 
War " is a misnomer. 

The French had possessed themselves by right of dis- 
covery and military occupation of vast stretches of country 
which they might expeA to hold by colonization, but 
which, as we now know, they never could have done. 

Bordering upon these lands for thousand of miles, were 
the settlements of the British people, who came to stay, 
to make homes, and to seek more lands when and where 
they needed them. The story of the collisions and con- 
flicts, local in their character at first, we shall not follow. 
It is a tale of alleged aggression and trespass on the one 
hand, and alleged interference on the other. 

It is the story, too, of gallant men and gallant deeds, 
intermingled with tales of alleged injustice and inhu- 
manity ; of a powerful, comparatively wealthy, and numer- 
ous people harassed and finally held at bay by a handful 
of resourceful, courageous men whose dominant military 
spirit was worth more than wealth or numbers. At last 
the stronger nation, stronger at sea as well as on land, 
stronger in its institutions and material resources, roused 
itself under the influence of its great war minister and the 
end came, as come it must in all unequal contests. 

Although the French and English were actually at 
war in America for several . years to the knowledge and 



with the connivance of the mother countries, France and 
England chose to ignore the faA officially while each was 
preparing for the fray. 

At last the pretence of peace could no longer be main- 
tained and the formal declarations of war were issued. As 
they give a summary of events, and of grievances against 
each other, we deem it advisable to reproduce them here as 
an introdudlion to the story which is begun in this volume 
with the life of Wofe. 

These declarations are taken from " An Impartial His- 
tory of the Late War, deduced from the committing of 
Hostilities in 1 749 to the signing of the Definitive Treaty 
of Peace in 1763." — Second Edition, London, 1763. 

HIS majesty's declaration of war against 


George Rex. 

The unwarrantable proceedings of the French in the 
West Indies and North America, since the conclusion of 
the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and the usurptions and 
incroachments made by them upon our territories, and 
the settlements of our subjects in those parts, particularly 
in our province of Nova Scotia, have been so notorious, 
and so frequent, that they cannot but be looked upon as a 
sufficient evidence of a formed design and resolution in 
that court to pursue invariably such measures as should 
most effectually promote their ambitious views, without 


any regard to the most solemn treaties and engagements. 
We have not been wanting on our part to make, from 
time to time, the most serious representations to the 
French King upon these repeated acts of violence, and to 
endeavour to obtain redress and satisfaction for the injuries 
done to our subjects, and to prevent the like causes of 
complaint for the future ; but though frequent assurances 
have been given, that everything should be settled agree- 
ably to the treaties subsisting between the two crowns, 
and particularly that the evacuations of the four neutral 
islands in the West Indies should be effected, (which was 
expressly promised to our ambassador in France) the 
execution of these assurances, and of the treaties on which 
they were founded, has been evaded under the most frivo- 
lous pretences and the injustifiable practices of the French 
governors, and of the officers acting under their authority, 
were still carried on, till, at length, in the month of April 
1754, they brooke out into open acts of hostility, when in 
the time of profound peace, without any declaration of war, 
and without any previous notice given, or application 
made, a body of French forces, under the command of an 
officer bearing the French King's commission, attacked in 
a hostile manner, and possesed themselves of the English 
fort on the Ohio in North America. 

But notwithstanding this act of hostility, which could 
not but be looked upon as a commencement of war ; Yet 
from our earnest desire of peace, and in hopes the court of 
France would disavow this violence and injustice, we con- 
tented ourselves with sending such a force to America, as 
was indispensably necessary for the immediate defence 


• • • 


and protection of our subjects against fresh attacks and 

In the mean time great naval armaments were prepar- 
ing in the ports of France, and a considerable body of 
French troops embarked for North America ; and though 
the French Ambassador was sent back to England with 
specious professions of a desire to accommodate these dif- 
ferences, yet it appeared, that their real design was only 
to gain time for the passage of those troops to America, 
which they hoped would secure the superiority of the 
French forces in those parts, and enable them to carry their 
ambitious and oppressive projects into execution. 

In these circumstances we could not but think it incum- 
bent upon us to endeavour to prevent the success of so 
dangerous a design, and to oppose the landing of the 
French troops in America; and in consequence of the just 
and necessary measures we had taken for that purpose, 
the French ambassador was immediately recalled from our 
court ; the fortifications at Dunkirk, which had been pre- 
paring for some time were enlarged ; great bodies of troops 
marched down to our coast, and our Kingdoms were threat- 
ened with an invasion. 

In order to prevent the execution of these designs, and 
to provide for the security of our Kingdoms, which were 
thus threatened, we could no longer forbear giving orders 
for the seizing at sea the ships of the French King, and 
his subje<5ls ; notwithstanding which, as we were still 
unwilling to g^ve up all hopes that an accommodation 
might be effected, we had contented ourselves hitherto with 
detaining the said ships, and preserving them, and (as far 


as possible) their cargoes entire, without proceeding to the 
confiscation of them : but it being now evident, by the 
hostile invasion actually made by the French King of our 
island of Minorca that it is the determined resolution of 
that court to hearken to no terms of peace, but to carry on 
the war, which has been long begun on their part, with 
the utmost violence, we can no longer remain consistently 
with what we owe to our own honor, and to the welfare of 
our subjects, within those bounds which, from a desire of 
peace, we had hitherto observed. 

We have therefore thought proper to declare war, and 
we do hereby declare war, against the French King, who 
hath so unjustly begun it, relying on the help of almighty 
God in our just undertaking, and being assured of the 
hearty concurrence and assistance of our subjeAs in 
support of so good a cause ; hereby willing and requiring 
our captain-general of our forces, our commissioners for 
executing the office of our high admiral of Great Britain, 
our lieutenants of our federal countries, governors or their 
forts and garrisons, and all other officers and soldiers, by 
sea and land, to do and execute all acts of hostility, in the 
prosecution of this war, against the French King, his 
vassals and subjects, and to oppose their attempts ; willing 
and requiring all our subjects to take notice of the same, 
whom we hence forth stri6lly forbid to hold any corres- 
pondence or communication with the said French King or 
his subjedls : and we do hereby command our own subjects, 
and advertise all other persons of what nation soever, not 
to transport or carry any soldiers, arms, powder, ammuni- 
tion, or other contraband goods, to any of the territories. 


lands, plantations, or countries of the said French King ; 
declaring, that whatsoever ship or vessel shall be met 
withal, transporting or carrying any soldiers, arms, powder, 
ammunition, or any other contraband goods, to any of the 
territories, lands, plantations or countries of the said 
French King ; the same being taken, shall be condemned 
as good and lawful prize. 

And whereas there are remaining in our kingdom of the 
subjects of the French King, we do hereby declare our 
royal intention to be, that all the French subjects, who 
shall demean themselves dutifully towards us, shall be 
safe in their persons and effects. 

Given at our court at Kensington, the 17^ day of May 
1756, in the 29*** year our reign. 

God save the King. 




By the King. 

All Europe knows that the King of England was the 
agressor against the possessions of the King in North 
America ; and that in the month of June, last year, the 
English Navy, in contempt of the law of nations, and the 
faith of treaties, began to exercise the most violent hostili- 
ties against his Masjesty's ships, and against the naviga- 
tion and commerce of his subjecSls. The King, justly 


ofieaded with this treachery, and the insult offered to his 
£i^« so^Koded, dniing eight months, the ^cSks of his 
resgntiTwnt, and what he owed to the dignity of his crown, 
only thioQgh the fear of exposing Enn^ie to the calamities 
d a new war. ^''^ ^was with this salntary view that Fiance 
at ^rst ooly opposed the tnjnrioos proceeding of ^gland 
by ihe most moderate behavioor. At the time that the 
English navy was taking, by the means of the most odions 
Ti^Lences. and someiimes by the basest artifices, the French 
KtEps rhar sailed with confidence nnder the proteSkm of 
tne piibISc tihh. his Majesty sent back to England a frig- 
3iSi wbzch hid been taken by the French navy^ and the 
H;T-.g!fs2i sli:;:s continQed their trade nnmolested in the 

3 z£ France. At the time that the French soldiers and 
were treated with the greatest severity in the British 
rTraaii. and that the behavioar^ with respecl to them, was 

riei beyond the boonds prescribed by the law of natnre 

and amnanity to the most rigoms rights of war, the En- 
ziisii travelled and inhabited freely iu France, nnder the 
or^tecriin of rhar regard which civilised people reciprocally 
^;we 33 eacn other. At the time that the English minis- 
jsts, xnder lire appearance of good txiih. imposed npon the 
Kind's Gnbassador by false protestations^ at that very 
time riey were pntting in execution, in all parts of North 
America, orders that were directly contrary to the deceitful 
a^Rirances they gave of an approaching accom moda tion^ 
Ar die time that the court of London was draining the arts 
Gt mtrigu e, and the subsidies of England, in order to stir 
up other powers against the court of France, the King did 
HOC even acquire of th^n those succors whicK by guar- 

Events prechding the siege xxvii 

anties and defensive treaties, he was authorised to demand ; 
and only advised them to such measures as were necessary 
for their own peace and security. 

Such has been the conduct of the two nations. The 
striking contrast of these proceedings ought to convince 
all Europe of the views of jealousy, ambition and avarice, 
which incite the one, and of the principles of honour, 
justice, and moderation, upon which the other behaves. 
The King was in hopes that the King of England, purely 
from a consideration of the rules of equity and his own 
honour, would have disavowed the scandalous excess which 
his sea officers continually committed. His Majesty had 
even furnished him with an opportunity of so doing, in a 
just and becoming manner, by demanding the speedy and 
intire restitution of the French ships taken by the English 
navy, and had offered him, upon that preliminary condi- 
tion, to enter into a negotiation with regard to the other 
satisfactions which he had a right to expec^l, and to listen 
to an amicable reconciliation of the differences concerning 

The King of England having rejected this proposition, 
the King could not but look upon his refusal, as the most 
authentic declaration of war, as His Majesty had declared 
he should do in his requisition. 

The British court might therefore have dispensed with 
a formality which was become unneccessary ; a more 
essential motive should have engaged it not to submit to 
the judgement of Europe the pretended grievances which 
the King of England alledged against France, in the decla- 
ration of war which he caused to be published at London. 


r»aIxT 2r> f -^crjfsiSoti, ai>d the manner is -vid::^ 
Srf*:: 5'*rti vxisL 'zjt srzEizxsix to print iIks 
t:u*ir zi^icnr ::;;i*t rivc i-res^y !>een sErocgiT 
:a tiit 3:i*:2ir.r3Ll -vtztslzl lie king caused !«> be 

m^ ^jci 

J* ^^ 

*:'^x*rf 4.^ r>iz:jciri- iz^i lie rr:cos iriSc: 
ii^ /Jfc''^ V, i»tizit i:: sea. ti* siios Stj: 

•* *^ • ' 1 r ' - _ _ ■r 

' ^* * •• « ^ ■ • • * * 

z;^ riv: r*5/'>r*-i "li^^ "'^^ssrs 3Sfi5? r* 
/•/ifctt/^t^ '^jrg ran l*e frr^ifT- 

l4viiN*rS rkECKDINri THli ^lEGIi XXIX 

advance fadls, the supposition of which cannot even be 
coloured by the least specious appearances ? 

What the King owes to himself, and what he owes to 
his subjects, has at length obliged him to repel force by 
force ; but being faithfully attached to his natural senti- 
ments of justice and moderation, his majesty has only 
directed his military operations against the King of 
England, his agressor; and all his political negotiations 
have been carried on with no other view but to justify the 
confidence which the other nations in Europe place in his 
friendship, both by sea and land. 

It would be needless to enter into a more ample detail 
of the motives which forced the King to send a body of his 
troops into the island of Minorca, and which at present 
oblige his Majesty to declare war against the King of 
England, as does hereby declare it, both by sea and land. 

By adling upon principles so worthy of determining his 
resolutions, he is secure of finding, from the justice of his 
cause, the valour of his troops, and the love of his subjects, 
those resources which he has always experienced on their 
part ; and he relies principally upon the protedlion of the 
God of armies. 

His Majesty orders and enjoins all his subjecJbs, vassals 
and servants, to fall upon the subjects of the King of 
England, and expressly prohibits all communication, com- 
merce, and intelligence with them, upon pain of death ; in 
consequence of which his majesty revokes all permissions, 
pass-ports, safe-condudls, etc., contrary to these presents, 
whether granted by his majesty, or any of his officers, 
further commanding the admiral and marshals of France, 


and all sea and land officers, to see that the contents of 
this declaration be duly executed within their several 
jurisdicHons, for such is his majesty's will, as it is, that 
these presents be published, and fixed up, in all the towns 
and seaports of this kingdom, that none may plead ignor- 
ance thereof. 

Done at Versailles the 9th of June, 1 756. 

Signed Louis, 

And underneath Rouillh. 





ON the 2"^ day of January, in the year 1727, was bom in 
Westerham, Kent, one whose name was destined to 
have a place amongst the first half dozen of British Gen- 
erals, and to be associated forever with Canada. Yorkshire 
claimed the honour of being his birthplace, but the parish 
records of the Kentish village as well as other testimony, 
leave no doubt as to the truth. ^'^ 

(i) In 01eig*s Lives of nritish Military coitnnaiiders, it is stated that 
Wolfe was bom on the 6th. of November 1726. 

Mr. Gleig appears to have been led into error by attributing a letter 
of Wolfe written in 1751 to that date. In this letter Wolfe 883^8 : '* The 
winter wears away, so do onr years, and so does life itself. — ^This day 
am I five and twenty years of age.*' As his letters were usually written 
on detached sheets, it happened that this sheet belonging really to a letter 
of December 2nd., 5th., 1751, O. S., January 2nd., 5th., 1752, N. S., was 
misplaced in the arrangement of his correspondence. A careful reading 
of the whole letter and a comparison with previous ones clearly show that 
this sheet in question could not have been written on Nov. 6th at all. 
Besides, Wolfe *s meditative mood could hardly excuse the declaration that 
winter was wearing away on the 6th. of November in Scotland, where then 
he was. 

Gleig 's error has been repeated by many writers, a fact of no importance 
except to those who expect accuracy from an historian, especially when by 
giving a definite date he pretends to it. 

According to the Parish Register, James Wolfe was baptized on the 
nth of January, 1727. 


His father was a Colonel Edward Wolfe who was bom in 
1685, in the north of England and who had served with 
Marlborough in Flanders as brigade major in the year 
1708. Being but twenty-three years of age at this time, 
he must have been an officer of singular ability, and as he 
had no family connections or influence of any kind to give 
him aid to promotion, we must suppose that he rose upon 
his merits, and that had opportunities offered he would 
have gained greater distinAion. 

With the treaty of Utrecht came a long period of peace 
and national prosperity under the administration of Wal- 
pole, but the renowned victories of peace brought neither 
glory nor reputation to the soldier. At forty years of age. 
Col. Wolfe married Henrietta Thompson, of Marsden, 
Yorkshire, a woman of unusual beauty, intelligence and 
force of character. To these were born two sous, James 
and Edward, the latter being but a year younger than his 
brother. The hero of Louisbourg and Quebec would appear 
then to have been of pure English parentage. However, 
such is not the case. So far as can be learned, the Wolfes 
were a Welsh family who migrated to Ireland, possibly to 
repair their broken fortunes or to better their condition as 
so many others did some three hundred years ago. At any 
rate, they are known to have been an influential family in 
Limerick in the 16^'' century. In 1605, a James Woulfe, 
a bailiff of Limerick, and in 161 3 a George Woulfe a 
Sheriff, were deposed for refusing to take the oath of 
supremacy. Evidently they had become Irish in their 
sympathies. Later, during the war of the Commonwealth 
(1651) a Friar Woulfe and his brother Captain George 

1739] ^^^*^^' O'^ WOLFE 3 

Woulfe, grandsons of the Sheriff just mentioned, gave 
so much trouble at the siege of Limerick that they were 
not included in the general amnesty after the capitu- 
lation. The Friar was executed, but his brother escaped 
to England, the very place which one would expe<$l him 
to avoid. 

He settled in the north of England, married, became 
Protestant, and was, it is said, the great-grandfather of 
General James Wolfe. Those who are interested in the 
study of national characteristics can easily see in the life 
and actions of Wolfe the impetuosity, dash and brilliancy 
of the Irish, combined with the more stolid and not less 
courageous Anglo-Saxon nature. 

His early youth was passed at Westerham where he 
attended the school kept by a Mr. Laurence, till about 
eleven years of age, when his father removed to Greenwich. 
Here he finished his school life under the tuition of the 
Reverend S. F. Swindon, ^'^ an excellent scholar and a 
capable teacher. In his school work, he showed none 
of that precocity of intelle<5l that has distinguished the 
youth of so many great men, his great rival Montcalm, 
for instance. He appears in faA to have been an ordinary 
lad of feeble constitution, great filial af!e<5lion and with a 
taste for his father's calling. 

While at Westerham, he formed a life-long attachment 
for George Warde, a youth some two years his senior, who 
was destined for the army, and at Greenwich he shared 

(i) The Reverend Samuel Francis Swindon, " the much esteemed friend 
and tutor " of Wolfe, was Rector of Greenwich. (See note by Miss 
Armstrong on " Highmore " portrait of Wolfe, in Notes to Illustrations.) 


his scholastic toils with John Jervis^ afterwards Lord St 
Vincent ^'^ 

The piping times of peace came to an end with the 
, death of Queen Caroline. She had exercised a restraining 
influence over the King's politics, if she could not direA 
his morals. She had steadily supported Walpole and his 
}X)licy of peace though the King was a soldier and inclined 
to a vigorous foreign policy. 

A quarrel with Spain that should have been settled by 
diplomacy forced Walpole into an imprudent, but a popular 
war, which was proclaimed with all the enthusiasm and 
jubilation of a latter day victory. 

Six additional regiments of Marines were raised and Lt 
Col. Wolfe received his commission as Colonel and assumed 
command of one of them. Perhaps j'^oung Wolfe felt more 
interest in the x^^ar than his father did, for he was permitted 
to see a camp upon Blackheath, for him no doubt a stirring 

Certain it is that when the father \^-as made adjutant 

general of the io,cxx) troops that were about to embark 

for Cartagena he wns pre\*ailed upon to take James, then 

thirteen 3*ears of age, with him. Mrs. Wolfe had protested 

in N^in against an action so frightful to a mother's heart, 

and had changed her taclics in order to play upon the 

tenderest feelings of the >*outh to induce him to stay with 
her. How she succeeded may be seen from the following 

extracts from Wolfe^s first letter to her : 

(i) U is slated coi ^xh! aQthocity thAt on the eve of the hatttlc of the 
PUins iHMieral Wolfe entrusted to John Jervis« afterwards Loid SL Via- 
cent, the miniatnie of Miss Lovrther. which was deUvered to the general *$ 
mother bv C^pUin Bell. A. D. C. ^see Notes to ninsUatioiis). 

1740] tlFE OF WOLFg 5 

Newport, Isle of Wight, August 6*^ 1740. 
Dear Madam, 

I received my dearest Mamma's letter on Monday last, 
but could not answer it then, by reason I was at camp to 
see the regiments off to go on board, and was too late for 
the post ; but am very sorry, dear Mamma, that you doubt 
my love, which I am sure is as sincere as ever any son's 
was to his mother. 

Papa and I are just now going on board, but I believe 
shall not sail this fortnight ; in which time, if I can get 
ashore at Portsmouth or any other town, I will certainly 
write to you, and when we are gone, by every ship we meet, 
because I know it is my duty. Besides, if it was not, I 
would do it out of love, with pleasure ... I am in a very 
good state of health, and am likely to continue so . . . 

Even at that age, as well as through life, a good state of 
health could not be safely predicted for him. In this case 
good luck, if there be such a thing, succeeded, even though 
the mother had failed, in inducing her son to stay at home. 
The fleet did not sail within two weeks, nor within two 
months, and during this time the young volunteer fell ill 
and was sent back to his home and his books. During the 
whole of his life he was a notoriously bad sailor and it is 
doubtful whether he could have survived the disastrous 
expedition and the horrors of the hospital ships. The tale 
as told by Smollet in " Roderick Random, " even after 
allowances are made for the novelist's licence is simply 

6 THE SIfiGfi OI^ QUEBEC [^74^ 

As the after life of Wolfe shows, the next year and a 
half at school were well spent. Near the close of the year 
1 74 1, while he was spending the Christmas holidays in 
his native village as the guest of his friend George Warde, 
he received his first commission. It was dated Nov. 3'^ 
and made him second lieutenant in his father's regiment 
of Marines. 

He did not go into service, apparently, under this com- 
mission, for his father's regiment had not returned in April 
when he was found carrying the colours of the 12*^ Reg- 
iment of Foot at a review of the army which was destined 
for service against France. However, the day upon which 
he received his first commission, with all the incidents in 
connection with it, was still fresh in the memories of his 
friends of Squerryes Court when his brilliant career was 
closed in vidlory on the Plains of Abraham. While all 
England was rejoicing in his triumph and sorrowing for 
his death, his friends thought it seemly to raise a memorial 
to him upon the spot where he stood when he first received 
authority to adl as a British officer. Accordingly, there 
now stands on the south side of the house a pedestal sur- 
mounted by an urn. Upon the base are several inscrip- 
tions, these lines amongst the rest : 

** Here first was Wolfe with martial ardour fired, 
Here first with glory's brightest flame inspired ; 
This spot so sacred will forever claim 
A proud alliance with its hero's name. " 




A s might have been expe<fted, Walpole's conduct of the 
■•^ war into which he had been forced in 1739 by the 
popular cry and the factious opposition of his political 
enemies was weak and inglorious. The minister whose 
policy is peace is not the man to make war. 

A secret compadl had existed between Spain and France 
since 1733, and when Admiral Vernon captured Porto 
Bello, Prance made a formal declaration to the effect that 
she would not permit any English settlement on the main- 
land of South America. 

Despite his previously effective methods of securing 
support, Walpole's majority was slowly but surely fading 
away, until his belated retirement as Earl of Oxford into Ori 
the obscurity of the House of Lords was forced upon him. 

The control of foreign affairs fell into the hands of Car- 
teret, who at once plunged the nation into a continental 
war in which the interests were considerably complicated. 
Carteret hoped to unite Austria and Prussia and thus put 
a check upon the growing power of France. 

The young soldier entered service therefore with every 


prospecft of soon being under fire. Exactly one month 
after the date of his commission a review of the army upon 
Blackheath was held by King George II., and the ensign 
Wolfe attached to Duroure's regiment first appeared in his 
military capacity. He was soon with the allied forces in 
Ghent from where he wrote some interesting letters. It 
may here be remarked that his fond mother carefully pres- 
erved every letter that reached her from her son during 
his whole life, and in consequence of this facft an unusually 
good estimate can now be made of his charaAer, while his 
letters to his father and to his military friends, as well as 
his dispatches and general orders, show the professional 
side of his life with great clearness. 

He left Ghent with Duroure's regiment for Germany in 
February 1743 and on the march suffered hardships such 
as his strength was hardly equal to. He was soon joined 
by his brother Edward, whose health was delicate, but 
who was anxious for a soldier's life and had secured an 
ensigncy in the same regiment. James Wolfe wrote from 
the camp near Aschaffenburg on the 21*** of June 1743 his 
longest and most important letter up to this time. From it 
we learn that his brother had been under fire and that he 
himself had been doing the duty of an adjutant ever since 
the army had encamped. The Brigadier was " extremely 
civil " to him and desired his Brigade Major, Mr. Blakeney, 
to instruct him all he could in his duties. As Wolfe was 
but sixteen years of age when he assumed this important 
office and secured such attention from his superior officers, 
his talents and early maturity of judgment must have 
been striking. Even admitting this, one must wonder at 

1743] LI^^ O^ WOLFE 9 

the condition of the British army when such rapid pro- 
motion could be possible under any circumstances. As a 
matter of fadl the army was, and had been for years, in a 
wretched state as to its officers. In time of peace the army 
was disbanded and the officers were put on half pay, which 
was insufficient to support them and their families. There 
being no inducements to enter the service, commissions 
were taken out, as a rule, by an inferior class of men of 
good birth who adopted the profession of arms without 
capacity or intention to perform their duties, while unusual 
merit without influence at court could never expe<ft recog- 
nition. As a result of the system or lack of system the 
British army was worse officered than any European army, 
and won its battles, when it did win, by the pluck and 
endurance of the soldiery. 

Admiral Byng, to be sure, was executed a few years 
later " pour encourager les autres, " as Voltaire wittily 
said, but it took England a long time to adopt rational 
army methods. These facts on the whole do not much 
lessen our surprise at the preferment of the youthful 
Wolfe whose earnestness of purpose was quite as conspi- 
cuous as his ability throughout his whole career. He had 
not long to fulfil the duties as adjutant until he was called 
upon to do so in the important battle of Dettingen. Many 
detailed accounts of this battle have been written but none 
has been made more interesting than that of Wolfe in a 
letter to his father. 

The Confederate army was confined within a valley, 
between mountains on one side and the river Maine on the 
other, across which was the French army of 60,000 men 


commanded by the Due de Noailles, one of the most 
distinguished strategists of his age. King George II. was 
in command of the allied forces consisting of 40,ocx) British 
and Hanoverian troops with several Austrian regiments. 
It is worthy of remark that this was the last occasion upon 
which an English monarch appeared upon the battle field. 
His army was in a sad plight. Its reinforcements of 12,000 
men at Hanau were intercepted, while the men wer* 
fatigued after a long march, and reduced in strength and 
spirits by starvation. There were but two courses open, 
surrender or retreat. The King resolved on the latter 
alternative and attempted to retreat without engagement 
through a defile near the little village of Dettingen. When 
the intention of the English was discovered, de Noailles 
detached a large part of his army under his nephew, the 
Due de Grammont, to cross the river and intercept the 
retiring enemy at the deiile, while the French artillery 
opened a deadly fire. As de Grammont's division crossed 
the bridge the English King halted, and formed in line of 
battle. The impetuous and confident Frenchman accepted 
the challenge at once, and instead of awaiting the retreating 
army at the defile he marched into the open and met his 
enemy on equal terms. This fatal error exposed de Gram- 
mont's men to the batteries of de Noailles which had to be 
discontinued while they were still doing great execution 
against the enemy. 

De Noailles advanced the rest of the army to reinforce 
de Grammont, but the assistance was of no avail. The 
French retreated, and while recrossing the bridge suffered 
greatly from the artillery which the now victorious army 

1744] LlFfi OP WOLFE It 

played upon them. However, so satisfied was Lord Stair 
with the sudden change from impending destruction to 
vi(5lory that the French army was allowed to withdraw 
without the further loss that might easily have been 
inflicted upon it, while the Confederates retired to Hanau 
leaving their dead and wounded on the field. The tactics 
employed, in Duroure's regiment at least, are interesting 
as furnishing a parallel to those of Wolfe on the 13"' of 
September 1759. He says ; '* The Major and I (for we had 
neither Colonel nor Lt. Colonel,) before they came near, 
were employed in begging and ordering the men not to fire 
at too great a distance, but to keep it till the enemy should 
come near us, but to little purpose. The whole fired when 
they thought they could reach them, which had like to 
have ruined us." 

Wolfe's letter to his father whose indulgence might have 
encouraged, or overlooked, a little boasting on such an 
occasion is singularly free from personal references, but if 
he had no praise for himself we may be sure that he quitted 
himself like a man, for five days later he was made adjutant 
of his regiment by royal commission, and in a few days 
more received his lieutenancy. 

The English army reached Hanau where it was joined 
by reinforcements but no effort was made to follow up the 
success. The victory had been small, but its results were 
prodigious. The French army dispirited by a reverse under 
such circumstances retired from the German territory, and 
prospers of peace were bright. 

However, the war continued. Louis XV. took the field 
in May with 120,000 men who, under the generalship of 

12 I'Hfi SIECJE OF QUEBEC [^744 

the brilliant Marechale Saxe went from vidlory to vidlory, 
the allies losing successively Courtrai, Menin and Ypres. 
Wolfe, who took his captaincy at seventeen years of age in 
the Fourth, or the King's Regiment of Foot, commanded 
by Lt. General Barrell, was in none of the engagements 
at these places. 

In the month of October the younger brother, weakened 
by disease and unable to endure longer the hardships of a 
soldier's life, passed away. James, who could not join him 
during his illness, wrote to his mother from Ghent a letter 
which shows his fine literary instinct, his scholarly taste, 
his tendency to introspection, and a certain dignity of tone 
which characterizes all his letters. He says : " Poor Ned 
wanted nothing but the satisfaction of seeing his dearest 
friends to leave the world with the greatest tranquillity. He 
often called on us. It gives me many uneasy hours when I 
refleA on the possibility there was of my being with him 
before he died. God knows it was being too exact, and not 
apprehending the danger the poor fellow was in ; and even 
that would not have hindered it had I received the phys- 
ician's first letter. I know you won't be able to read this 
paragraph without shedding tears, as I do writing it ; but 
there is a satisfaction in giving way to grief now and then. 
" 'Tis what we owe the memory of a dear friend.". . ." There 
was in him the prospect (when ripened with experience) 
of good understanding and judgment, and an excellent 
soldier. You'll excuse my dwelling so long on this cruel 
subjeA, but in relating this to you, vanity and partiality 
are banished. A strong desire to do justice to his memory 
occasions it. 

1745] ^^^^ O^ WOLFE 13 

'^ There was no part of his life that makes him dearer to 
me than that where you have often mentioned — he pined 
after me. It often makes me angry that any hour of my 
life should pass without thinking of him. . . Nature is ever 
too good in blotting out the violence of affliction. For all 
tempers (as mine is) too much g^ven to mirth, it is often 
necessary to revive grief in one's memory." 

Much against his will Wolfe remained during the winter 
at Ghent where he might naturally have been expected to 
have little to do. However he was of that tense nature 
that could not rest, and instead of passing his time in idle- 
ness or routine work he gave it up to the study of his 
chosen profession. 

In the spring of 1745 the campaign was again opened in 
Flanders by the allied forces of England, Austria, Holland 
and Saxony, under the Austrian General Konigsegg. Det- 
tingen was revenged by the battle of Fontenoy, Ghent fell 
after a five days siege, and Ostend surrendered. England's 
only success was gained by Pepperel and his New England 
volunteers who, though only 4000 strong, captured Cape 
Breton after a seven weeks siege of Louisburg. This 
success was counted of so little value that it was hardly 
regarded as a bright spot in the gloom which settled over 
England when with her troops engaged on the continent, 
she had practically none left to defend her shores against 
the last of the Stuarts. Charles Edward, grandson of James 
the Second, took heart when England became embroiled 
abroad, and in 1 744 had planned a descent upon the shores 
of Scotland with French troops and French armament. His 
plan was frustrated by a storm which scattered his fleet. 


and by the withdrawal of the French troops to engage in 
the war in Flanders. He now landed with but seven fol- 
lowers in the north, and after a few weeks of discourage- 
ment he raised the Jacobite clan, marched through Blair 
Athol, took the Scottish capital, was proclaimed James the 
Eighth, and defeated the Royalists under Cope at Preston 
Pans by a reckless rush with the claymore. His forces 
now doubled under the encouragement of victory and with 
6,cxx> men he invaded England and marched as far as 
Derby. But neither the Lowlanders nor the Catholics of 
Lancashire added to his forces. Walpole's policy had 
brought prosperity in the train of peace, and the hateful 
house of Hanover had become tolerable even to the English 
Jacobites and Tories. Sentiment which counts for so much 
in the affairs of life was not strong enough to induce rebel- 
lion contrary to self interest. From Carlisle to Derby, Prince 
Charlie's accessions did not amount to more than two 
hundred. Learning that superior forces were advancing 
upon him from different quarters and that an army pro- 
tected London, he retreated to Glasgow where he was rein- 
forced. With some 9,ocx) men he attacked the English 
army that had followed him to the north and at Falkirk 
repeating his tactics repeated his victory. The victory 
was claimed, however, by both sides, a fact which shows 
the indecisive nature of it. 

The elder Wolfe was present at the battle of Falkirk as 
General of Division, and his son, who had received his 
commission on the continent acted as Brigade Major of 
BarrelPs regiment. In a letter to his uncle, William 
Lotheron, of Pomfret, he declared that the affair was only 


1745] L^^^ O^ WOLFE 15 

an encounter, not a battle, as neither side would fight, 
and that although the Royalists could not be said to have 
totally routed the enemy they remained a long time mas- 
ters of the field and of their cannon, not one of which 
would have been lost if the drivers had not left their 
carriages and run off with the horses. As it was they left 
Falkirk and part of their camp because the ammunition of 
the army was wet and spoiled, but their retreat was in no 
way molested as affecting their superiority. He thought 
that with favourable weather the rebellion could be ended 
in a short time. Marshal Wade had been succeeded in 
command by " hangman Hawley, " who retreated to Edin- 
burgh while the insurgents took possession of the town of 

The Duke of Cumberland was soon appointed com- 
mander-in-chief and the army was reinforced. The cruel 
severity of the Duke and of Hawley are well known, but 
an incident occurred in Aberdeen, where they soon went 
and remained to rest the army, which calls for special notice 
because of the fact that Wolfe's name is somewhat unpleas- 
antly connected with it. 

General Hawley occupied the house of a Mrs. Gordon. 
She complained that one Major Wolfe came to her and said 
that by the orders of the Duke of Cumberland and General 
Hawley she was to be deprived of everything she had 
except the clothes on her back. After giving this message 
he said that the General had, upon enquiry, found that she 
had nothing to do with the rebellion and in consequence, 
he, the General, would make interest with the Duke that 
she might have any particular thing she wished, that she 



^*V ^Kt^» -^vX ^K» «^ '^A*'< ^X 

at :^ JSfiE- 

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1746] LIFE OF WOLFE 1 7 

singular that Wolfe should have written so many letters 
to intimate friends and relatives with so little of reference 
to himself y or rather to his own actions. As will appear 
by further references to his correspondence, his mind was 
of St distin<5tiy subjective type. He discussed his pecu- 
liarities of temper and disposition, his likes and dislikes, 
he gave his views upon such widely divergent topics as 
military ethics and matrimony, he philosophized upon life 
and the hereafter, he drew up admirable rules of con- 
duct, he showed himself ambitious and impatient of dis- 
regard, but he always avoided the appearance of boasting. 
An anecdote which is familiar to many readers falls 
chronologically into this place and may be g^ven for what 
it is worth. It is said that the Duke of Cumberland was 
riding with his staff over the field of battle after the day 
was lost and won, when he saw a wounded Highlander 
upon the ground gazing at him with a look of defiance 
and hate. Turning to Major Wolfe he ordered him to shoot 
the ^^ Highlander scoundrel " who dared to look upon the 
Duke with such contempt and insolence. '^ My commis- 
sion," replied Wolfe, " is at your Royal Highness's dis- 
posal, but I can never consent to become an executioner." 
This story is told with variations by different writers, but 
it lacks authentication, and as a consequence is generally 
accepted with reserve, if at all. If Wolfe at nineteen years 
of age is to be credited with so spirited and ready a reply, 
the Duke of Cumberland is to be held in execration for 
his atrocity. Certain it is that the sufferings of the rebel 
peasants were intense, and that the belief that Prince 

Charles had ordered before Culloden that no quarter should 


be given increased, though it did not justify, the barbar- 
ities to which the vanquished were subject on the field of 
battle or the severity with which they were treated after- 

What part Wolfe took in the harrying of the rebels, in 
the destruction and confiscation of their property, or how 
he viewed it all, we do not learn from his pen at this time. 
In March 1755, he writes to his friend Rickson : " Such a 
succession of errors, and such a train of ill-behaviour as the 
last Scotch war did produce, can hardly, I believe, be 
matched in history." 

That it was distasteful to him we may safely assume, 
but we may quite as safely say that he regarded it as the 
natural and necessary course to take with a rebellious 
poeple that was looked upon by the soldiery as beyond 
the pale of civilization. 

We know that after the siege and reduction of Louisburg 
in 1758, he wrote to his father saying ironically " Sir 
Charles Hardy and I are preparing to rob the fishermen of 
their nets and to bum their huts. When that great exploit 
is at an end — I return to Louisburg. " In his report to 
Amherst a little later he refers to the great exploit in these 
terms : " We have done a great deal of mischief — spread 
the terror of his Majesty's arms through the whole gulf ; 
but have added nothing to the reputation of them." Still 
later, at Quebec, when the responsibility was all his own, 
the country was laid desolate, crops were destroyed, houses 
and bams were burned. However opinions may differ as to 
the justification of such methods, he undoubtedly believed 
in them, as did his contemporaries who were not hurt 

1746] UFE OF WOLFE 1 9 

thereby, as necessary accompaniments of warfare. These 
statements are not written specially to condemn Wolfe, 
but rather to show that it is not safe to assume from a 
man^s general reputation for justice and mercy that any 
particular adl of his must be above reproach or beyond 
question. The Gordon affair already mentioned is an illus- 

The Duke of Cumberland departed from Scotland in July 
leaving desolation behind him and finding a grateful wel- 
come awaiting him in England. The forces were dispersed, 
with the exception of a few regiments that were retained 
to garrison the outposts. 

Wolfe himself left the land of heather before winter set 
in and remained in London till the following spring when 
his regiment was to proceed to the continent for service. 



GENERAL Wolfe and Mrs. Wolfe who were living at their 
London home in Old Burlington Street welcomed their 
son, and entertained him for a short visit during which he 
fitted himself out for another campaign on the Continent 
Wolfe*s letters to his parents showed for many years 
that his finances were in an unsatisfactory state. Even to 
the last, his pay was altogether insufficient for the proper 
maintenance of his position as an officer. His father, the 
General, could not help him materially for at this time the 
Government and the people who could vote a pension of 
;^25,ooo a year to the Duke of Cumberland after Cullo- 
den could complacently owe General Wolfe, Inspector of 
Marines, upwards of ;^i6,ooo for services rendered. When 
he applied to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
he was referred to the First Lord of the Treasury, by him 
to the Secretary of War, and by him back again to the 
First Lord of the Treasury. By this means the ministers 
gained time and General Wolfe got nothing but the honour 
of being in His Majesty's service. It is rather amusing 
that he should have expressed the fear that his much 

22 THE smCE OF QUEBEC 1747] 

asking for his own should cause him to be looked upon as 
a dun. 

Although this appears to be Wolfe's first real visit to 
his parents after his entrance upon the profession of arms, 
his stay was not long. Early in the month of January he 
sailed for the Netherlands, acting as Brigade Major. 

The French army had profited by the weakening of the 
Confederates when the English troops were withdrawn to 
quell the Scotch rebellion and had overrun the Austrian 
Netherlands. It now numbered one hundred and fifty 
thousand men, well fed, clothed and lodged, commanded 
by Marechale Saxe. The Confederate armies united with 
one hundred and twenty thousand men and lay idle and 
destitute some six weeks awaiting the tardy arrangements 
of the Comniissariat department under Austrian and Dutch 
management. On the 2"** of July the opposing armies 
met at LafFeldt, where after a bloody and protracfled battle 
victory rewarded the French army, at a cost often thousand 
in killed and wounded. To the British troops belonged 
the honour of having borne the brunt of the battle on* 
the Confederate side without proper support, while the 
enemy sustained the best traditions of the French arms. 
Major Wolfe was wounded in the action and, it is stated, 
was publicly thanked by the commander-in-chief for his 
brilliant and valorous conduct upon the field. 

Wolfe's letters give no account of this battle, nor do they 
furnish particulars as to his own part in it. How long he 
was invalided we do not know, but at any rate he spent 
three or four months of the following winter in London, 
during which time he first met Miss Lawson. His romantic 

1748] i-ii'K OF woi.KK aj 

attachment to her formed more than an episode in his life, 
but as it is convenient to follow his fortunes chronologi- 
cally further mention of Miss Lawson will fall naturally 
under his next visit to London. 

The second treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, followed in 1748. 
The possessions of the various contending parties remained 
practically as before, and the treaty itself was a virtual 
acknowledgment that blood and treasure had been spilled 
and spent for nothing. However it was pretty well under- 
stood that the treaty made not peace but a truce. Marechale 
Saxe soon renewed hostilities by laying sieg^ to Maestricht. 
In March Wolfe again left to take his part in the struggle. 

On the I a"" of April he wrote a letter to his father in 
which he outlined the actual situation and made some 
interesting personal references. Colonel Yorke, the then 
Adjutant General, had *' said some civil things in relation 
" to having a person with these people that was acquainted 
"with this country, and the customs of the army; and 
" proceeded to tell me that the Duke, in discourse with him, 
" had expressed great concern at not having it in his power 
" to serve mc, but that his intention was just, and he would 
" take an opportunity soon of making it appear. And 
'* Yorke, as a secret told me H. R. H. intended that Field 
" should succeed Cossley, and that he would give me the 
*' Major's commission of Bragg's regiment for nothing, and 
" (as he was pleased to say) in order to my being Lieu- 
" tenant-Colonel to it, for Jocelyn is dying. " 

His promotion did not follow as soon as he expeAed, but 
being only twenty-one years of age, he could afford to wait. 

That he should have been singled out by the Duke of 



Citmberlaiid as a man of experience and judgment was at 
any rate gratifjdng to his ambitions and sensitive spiriL 
Perhaps he was too hopeful. In a l^ter written about this 
time he saj^s, referring to another matter : ^^ I'm sorry to 
say that mj' writings are greatly influenced by the state 
of m)* bod}* or mind at the time of writing; and I'm 
** either happj* or ruined b}' mj' last night's rest, or fnmi 
^sunshine, or light, or sickly air: such infirmity is the 
*^ mortal frame subject ta" 

It has been suggested that he was so useful in his actual 
position where he performed more duties than strictl)* 
appertained to the oflBce of brigade major that he could not 
be spared even for promotion. 

The arm)* laj* idle fnmi the close of hostilities in Maj* till 
December when the British troops departed for England's 
shores. Wolfe's restless, active disposition shows itself in 
a long uMan of complaint which breathes through a letter 
written to his mother. He was trying, and trying in vain, 
to obtain a leave of absence in order to perfect himself in 
the science of war. His purely literary education had been 
abrupdy terminated^ and before his twentyssecooid year he 
had passed thnxigh seven campaigns and was expecting a 

^ *Tis unaccountable/^ he says; ^^ that he who wishes to 
^ see a good army can i^ppcse men's enlarging their nodons^ 
^ or acquiring that acknowledge with a little absence which 
*" they can't possibly meet with at home, especially when 
*^ they are supposed masters of their present employment 
"' and really acquainted with it.** 

And again in a later epistle to his mother, written on the 

1748] tihH oy woM^K 25 

10*^ day of November, 1748, he says : " For my particular, 
I wish nothing so much as the means of escaping from 
noise and idleness. I never till now knew our army 
otherwise than as I could have desired it (I don't mean 
as to the successful part) : but then I never knew what 
it was to wait, in smoke and subjection, the signing art- 
icles of peace, and till now have always had, or imagined 
I had, a prospeA of better times." However much Wolfe 
might chafe under enforced idleness, he had to stay until 
the return of his brigade. He remained but a few weeks 
in London, being gazetted on the 5^ of January as Major 
of the 20^^ regiment then stationed in Scotland doing gar- 
rison duty. 



A LTHOUGH the political hopes of the Scottish Jacobites 
*^ were destroyed at Culloden the sturdy, lawless, high- 
land chief was still surrounded by his loyal retainers, who 
chafed under the restri<5lions that were placed upon them 
by the presence of English garrisons. Cattle lifting and 
blackmail were carried on extensively despite the vigilance 
and severity of the southern troops. After Culloden severe 
measures were passed through Parliament for the sup- 
pression of rebellion and for the discouragement of the 
rebels. The hereditary jurisdictions which had been asso- 
ciated with ownership of land and with titles of rank were 
abolished, and the forfeited estates of the leading rebels 
were placed under the control of a board of management 
for the benefit of the Crown ; the clans were to be dis- 
armed ; the plaid, philabeg or little kilt were not to be 
worn ; the Scottish Episcopalian clergy, whose loyalty to 
the Crown was more than suspected, were compelled to 
acknowledge the Hanoverian succession and to pray for 
the King. Fitting penalties were prescribed for the various 
offences. During the war on the continent the garrisons 


in Soodand were weakened to furnish troops where they 
were more needed. Later, however, several r^ments were 
sent to Scotland to enforce the laws and to assist in the 
pacification of the malcontents by a show of force. Lord 
George Sackville, whose military reputation was later 
blasted by the famous slow march of his cavalry at Minden, 
for which he was dismissed from the service, was in com- 
mand of the 20^ Foot at Stirling. Wolfe was appcnnted 
Major of this regiment and directly after joining it he 
assumed command, without elevation of rank, because of 
tlK af^xMntment of LieuL-Col. Comwallis to the office of 
^^^ptatw General and Governor of Acadia. The Colonels of 
regiments^ be it observed, were not much more than inspect- 
iBg officers and titular commanders at this time, the real 
cooEmander being his Lieutenant Col^MieL The r^id 
dsscxpline of military life has never been, and can never be, 
csooduchre to that tactful, conciliator}-, and patient mental 
attkifide that is an essential requisite toone who has to deal 
vidi "" tbe people '* as distinguished from the soldiery. In 
iKt t!ie pisempcory and overbearing maniner seen so often 
ia regxj&r o mcers. though so much resented by the civilian, 
scesrs co be jcqziired quite unconsciously. At any rate its 
exssces^re ki^ liratised mjLuy an able oiEcer to fail ingio^ 
tat b:&s anesnpc to jdmruxster civil mattersw The work of the 
regta&esiis is Soxlaml and especially of the o£cers com- 
SBUHXat^. was of a civil rather than of a military nature. 
Woaie.c!i»^ag!t still a ¥oath. acquitted himsielf in such a 
^**«^^«iw^ izt ois ardiKMis pocsicbQ as to show that he was 
pufisessed oc imusQal talents as an ;feiaaLrntstTator. axfed tct 
:x2tii:sa;il abtlicy to deal tictfully with sksl His teaapiar 

1749] "^^ ^^ WOLFE 29 

was hasty, rather than uneven, as appears from his own 
letters, but his nature was strenuous as well as strong. 
His intense earnestness and candour and his broad hu- 
manity made a favourable impression on all who came into 
contact with him. 

His regimental minutes and orders are still preserved, 
the 20^ Regiment now being known as the Lancashire 
Fusiliers. A few extracts are given here to show the 
characteristics of the man and to illustrate the principles 
of condtii^l which he and others before and since have 
inculcated into the British soldiery until the fortitude and 
tenacity of Tommy Atkins have become traditions which 
are honoured by observance to the present hour : 

" Whoever shall throw away his arms in an action, 
whether officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, (unless 
it appears they are so damaged as to be useless,) either 
under the pretence of taking up others that are of a better 
sort or for any other cause whatsoever, must expect to be 
tried by a general court-martial for the crime. 

" The death of an officer commanding a company or 
platoon shall be no excuse for the confusion or misbehaviour 
of that platoon ; for, while there is an officer or non-com- 
missioned officer left alive to command, no man is to abandon 
his colours or betray his country. 

" Neither officer, non-commissioned officer, nor soldier is 
to leave his platoon or abandon the colours for a slight 
wound. While a man is able to do his duty, and stand and 
hold his arms, it is infamous to retire. 

" The battalion is not to halloo, or cry out, upon any 
account whatsoever, although the rest of the troops should 


do it, until they are ordered to charge with their bayonets ; 
in that case, and when they are on the point of rushing 
upon the enemy, the battalion may give a warlike shout 
and run in. 

" The soldier who takes his musket off his shoulder and 
pretends to begin the battle without order will be put to 
death that instant. The cowardice or irregular proceedings 
of one man is not to put the whole in danger. 

" The soldier that quits his rank or offers to fly is 
instantly to be put to death by the officer that commands 
that platoon. . . A soldier does not deserve to live who 
wont fight for his King and country. 

" If a non-commissioned officer or private man is missing 
after an action and joins his company afterwards unhurt, 
he will be reputed a coward and a fugitive, and will be tried 
for his life. 

'^ If we attack a body less in extent than the battalion, 
the platoons upon the wings must be careful to direct their 
fire obliquely so as to strike upon the enemy. The officers 
to inform the soldiers of his platoon before the a<5lion 
begins where they are to direct their fire ; and they are to 
take a good aim to destroy their adversaries. 

"There is no necessity for firing very fast. A cool, 
well-levelled fire, with the pieces carefully loaded, is much 
more destructive and formidable than the quickest fire in 
confusion. The misbehaviour of any other corps will not 
affect this battalion, because the officers are determined 
to give the strongest proofs of their fidelity, zeal and cour- 
age, in which the soldiers will second them with their usual 

1749] L^PE OF WOLFE 31 

" When any officer omits to visit his g^ard frequently, 
to send out his patroles constantly, and to receive their 
reports, and when such officers go to bed at eleven at night, 
robberies and other lawless scandalous a<Aion5 may be 
committed with impunity. 

"The young officers are to be informed that vigilance 
add an exact attention to their duty upon guard is expected 
from them in the strictest manner. 

" The men should consider that they are upon the point 
(rf entering into a war for the defence of their country 
against an enemy who has long meditated the destruction 
of it : that a drunken, vicious, irregular army is but a poor 
defence to a state ; but that virtue, courage, and obedience 
in the troops are a sure g^ard against all assaults : that the 
troops that are posted in this country are designed to repel 
the enemy's first attempt; and that they should be in 
readiness to execute their part with honour and spirit, and 
not give themselves up to every excess, and to every 
irregularity in times like these : both officers and soldiers 
should exert themselves in every part of duty, and shew 
their countrymen that they deserve their esteem and consid- 
eration ; and they should endeavour in a particular manner 
to recommend themselves to his majesty, and to the captain- 
general, by their zeal, fidelity, and valour. " '" 

(i) These extracts are selected rrom " General Wolfe's Instmctlons to 
Yoang Officers ; Also His Orders for a Bftttalion and an Army :" etc. 
Second Edition, London, 1780. Printed for J. Millan. 

It may be remarked that the title of this book is misleading. Only 
two pagea are devoted to Instructions to Young Officers, and whether 
Wolfe wrote them or not, they are hardly worth preserving. The young 
officer may, however, even now profit by a pemsal of the Orders, which 
fill about a hundred pages. ' 


Wolfe's regiment was ordered to Glasgow from which 
he writes for the first time on the 25^ of March 1749 to 
his mother. He says that '' two hours a day are given up 
'^ to application : in the morning I have a man to instruct 
" me in the mathematics, and in the afternoon another 
'' comes to assist me in regaining my almost lost Latin. 
" The college furnishes almost all parts of learning to the 
" inquisitive." 

He is half undone with expenses, and after deducting 
the actual cost for horses, servants, washing, lodging and 
" diet " from his pay, ;^I5 a month, he reckons that he 
has one shilling and a penny a day for pocket money. He 
writes soon after to his friend Capt. W. Rickson, and as 
all the world loves a lover it may be well to introduce 
Wolfe in that rdle when his story can be told in his own 
words. From the fulness of his heart and as a fitting return 
for a confidence he had just received from his friend he 
pens these words : 

" You shall hear, in justice, and in return for your con- 
" fidence, that I am not less smitten than yourself. The 
'' winter we were in London together I sometimes saw Miss 
" Lawson, the maid of honour, G. Mordaunt's niece. She 
" pleased me then ; but the campaign in view. . . left little 
" thought for love. The last time I was in town, only three 
'' weeks, I was several times with her, sometimes in public, 
^' sometimes at her uncle's, and two or three times at her 
" own house. She made a surprising progress in that 
" time, and won all my affections. Some people reckon 
" her handsome ; but I, that am her lover, do not think 
" her a beauty. She has much sweetness of temper, sense 

1749] Li^E ^^ WOLFE 33 

^^ enough, and is very civil and engaging in her behav- 
" iour. She refused a clergyman with ;^i,300 a year, and 
" is at present addressed to by a very rich knight, but to 
'' your antagonist's misfortune, he has that of being mad 
^' added, so that I hold him cheap. In point of fortune she 
" has no more than I have a right to expect, viz. £i2pcxy. 
'' The maid is tall and thin, about my own age, and that's 
'' the only obje<5lion. I endeavoured, with the assistance 
" of all the art I was master of, to find out how any serious 
" proposal would be received by Mordaunt and her mother. 
" It did not appear that they would appear very averse to 
" such a scheme ; but as I am but twenty-two and three 
^' months it is rather early for that sort of project ; and if 
" I dont attempt her, somebody else will. The General 
" and Mrs. Wolfe are rather against it, from other more 
" interested views, as they imagine. They have their eye 
" upon one of ;^30,ooo. If a company in the Guards is 
'' bought for me, or I should be happy enough to purchase 
'^ my lieutenant-colonel's commission within this twelve 
" month, I shall certainly ask the question ; but if I am 
" kept long here, the fire will be extinguished. Young 
" flames must be constantly fed, or they'll evaporate. I 
" have done with this subject, and do you be silent upon it" 

His estimate of the citizens of Glasgow was not a flatter^ 
ing one, and let us hope that it was as unjust as it would 
be if applied now. 

^^ The men are civil, designing, and treacherous, with 

" their immediate interest always in view ; they pursue 

" trade with warmth and a necessary mercantile spirit, 

" arising from the baseness of their other qualifications. 



" The women, coarse, cold, and cunning, forever enquiring 
" after men's circumstances ; they make that the standard 
" of their good breeding. " However, he preferred Glasgow 
to any other quarters in Scotland and left with reluctance 
for Perth in October. While the plan of this work does 
not permit of any extended reference to the matters of only 
general interest which happened during the rest of his 
sojourn in Glasgow, his life was not without incident. 

He complains bitterly, or humourously, of the time he 
lost attending Kirk for two hours each Sabbath for an 
example to his brother officers and men, and from a sense 
of duty. He thought the generality of Scotch preachers 
were ** excessive blockheads, so truly and obstinately dull, 
" that they seemed to shut out knowledge at every entrance." 

Although these quotations show that Wolfe did not 
understand the Scottish character or type of mind, extracts 
from other letters indicate that his feelings and expressions 
were determined pretty largely by a restlessness and a 
general dissatisfaction that made him ready to find fault 
with everything about him. To Rickson he had said that 
the l>;irrcn l^ittaliou talk rather blunted the faculties than 
improved them : that his youth and vigour were being idly 
fiestTiwed in 5kx»tland, and that his temper was daily changed 
with di.scrjntent. He feared that subject to such conditions 
he would turn from a man to a martin or a monster. Besides 
hih health had txx-n seriously affected by the unusually 
C//H, damp summer and after an illness he described himself 
as e^/erything but what the surgeons call a subject for 
anatr^my ; "as far as muscles, bones«and the larger vessels 
" fjLti serve their purpose, they have a clear view of them 

1750] UFE OF WOLFE 35 

" in me, distinct from fat or fleshy impediment." After his 
illness he nearly suffered a relapse " for want of sun." On 
the 1 3^ of August there was not a field of any sort of com 
cut down, which fact made him exclaim : " If the hand of 
the Lord is not upon them, they are in a terrible latitude." 
It appears that humour could shine through his "vapors", 
when they were not too dense. In a letter to his mother, 
on the 8^ of September, he says : "I don't know how the 
" mathematics may assist the judgment, but they have a 
" great tending to make men dull. I, who am far from 
" being sprightly even in my gaiety, am the very reverse 
" of it at this time. I'm heavier in discourse, longer at a 
" letter, less quick of apprehension, and carry all the 
" appearances of stupidity to so great a height, that in a 
" little time they won't be known from the reality ; and all 
" this to find out the use and property of a crooked line, 
" which, when discovered, serves me no more than a 
" straight one, does not make me a jot more useful or enter- 
" taining, but, on the contrary, adds to the weight that 
" nature has laid upon the brain, and blunts the organs." 
As it was settled that Comwallis was not to return to 
his regiment, Wolfe's hopes began to rise with his constant 
desire to receive his lieutenant-colonelcy. With his father 
he had more correspondence on the subjeA, but the com- 
mission did not come. His circumstances were somewhat 
better than when he conveyed the hint for assistance by 
reference to his one shilling and one penny a day for 
pocket money, for his father had sent him relief. To his 
mother's pressing invitation to go home for four months, 
he replies that he can expect no such indulgence, and that 


he will pass the winter at Perth, hunting and shooting for 
exercise, and reading for entertainment. After Christmas 
he will gain some relaxation by going to Edinburgh for 
two or three weeks. Still he felt that it was his misfortune 
to miss the improving hour, and to degenerate instead of 

He makes some comparisons between himself and his 
fellows that are interesting. It is always hard for one to 
make such personal references without the appearance of 
vain boasting on the one hand or of simulated humility on 
the other. 

However we judge his remarks, his communication to 
his mother must be considered somewhat privileged. Let 
him speak for himself. " Few of my companions surpass 
" me in common knowledge, but most of them in vice. 
" This is a truth that I should blush to relate to one who 
" had not all my confidence, lest it be thought to proceed 
" either from insolence or vanity ; but I think you don't 
" understand it so. I dread their habits and behaviour, 
" and am forced to eternal watch upon myself, that I may 
" avoid the very manner which I most condemn in them. 
" Young men should have some objeA constantly in their 
" aim, some shining character to dire<5l them. 'Tis a 
" disadvantage to be first at an imperfect age ; either we 
" become enamoured with ourselves, seeing nothing super- 
" ior, or fall into the degree of our associates." 

In the month of November, Major Wolfe marched his 
regiment from Glasgow to Perth, not the Fair Perth of 
to-day but still a town of some distinction even at that 
tin)?/* JJis first Irtter to his mother was written on the 15^** 

1750] LII^E OF WOLFfi 37 

of December and in it he gives a glimpse of the coarseness 
of both the men and women of Perth as it appeared to his 
refined nature. 

From his next letter, a month later, we learn that when 
in Glasgow he prosecuted his studies with such assiduity 
as left him little time for attention to his colonel ; the 
change was now so great that he had ample leisure for 
recreation and amusement. In consequence he says : '' I 
'^ have improved and strengthened my constitution beyond 
" what I have hitherto known." 

In this letter he mentioned Miss Hoskins, who had sent 
her compliments to him. It was she whom his business- 
like mother had chosen for him, chiefly it would appear 
because she had a fortune of ;^30,ooo, but as Rickson had 
told Wolfe that she was a '^ complete woman '' and had 
advised him, as a friend, " to make up to her,'* we may 
suppose that she was not lacking in personal charms. 
The advice of Rickson, as usual in such cases, was valued 
by Wolfe at what it cost him, and only served to make 
him challenge a comparison with Miss Lawson. As Rick- 
son confessed that he did not know the latter, the odious 
comparison was evidently not made. 

It would appear that the General and Mrs. Wolfe had 
positively forbidden their son to pay further addresses to 
Miss Lawson, which disappointment had so affe<5led his 
disposition that in philosophical despair he declared that he 
could possibly prevail upon himself not to refuse twenty 
or thirty thousand pounds, if properly offered. His mother, 
perhaps to assuage his grief, or to discuss the matter with 
judicial fairness, had conceded an admiration for Miss 


Ljlvsoo^s bdiavioiir and manner, bat this inflamed Wolfe 
a»ev, a3fti be told ber so. We bave not tbe letters of the 
GeoerLl and of Mrs. Wolfe, bat from Wolfe's letters it is 
enSest that they grew peremptory when reascm failed to 
ocis\ince him that his infatnation was foolish. At any 
raze be expresses his willingness to submit to paternal 
rffTHxitj . and bc^xs that his mother will again answer 

Oft tbe 2^ or March, Wolfe^s ambiticm had a temporary 
^irsrfc"^Tipn R>r be then learned that he had been promoted 
Trmr: diys beKxe u> the lieatenant<olonelcy of his r^i- 
aacK. He was sensible of the greatness of that favoar 
^aooe Iiim and recerved it ^ with tolerable humility." 

We are acciL^omed to the statement that during a time 
mbasL inferior mien were placed and maintained as army 
«^Ebcers soodv through family and court influence, Wolfe 
won his way by sheer ability without the aid of friends or 
comxediDiLS. As a matter of fact, this is only partly true. 
IzL X Tetter lo hs fuber^ Wolfe acknowledges that the 
*^ DvLkre !£;is employed his pover and influence upon this 
'* (xxri:sii^iL where, at Ie;&st. it is sure to be remembered.*^ 
He t^iid^or IifixLself much obliged to Loid George Sackirille 
CTif wTuCe kfoi ^nng assurances of that fact. Wliat Lord 
Suik^^Ie xid s^5d to His Royal Highness ^ left no doubt. 
" X iLin:-rabiie impressaon and forwarded this successkm.^' 
X:r fi£ lie K^n^iec u> acknowledge the services of Colonel 
Xj;:ni£r. wx^ wbom be had bem iutimatelv associated 
flirlrj : ii»& ikree years that bad just passed. .\Itbough 
II WS5 xbsiahcseiy necessary tor Genial Wolfe to use every 
IkgnrrmfTJ- sieass ^ secure his sou s pranoliGau it is to be 

1751] ^-il^H OV WOLFU 39 

observed that he sought and obtained the assistance of 
those only who knew the son and his fitness for the posi- 
tion he desired. Influence had to be exercised even for 
the recognition of merit, so senseless were the conditions of 
service in the amiy. After seven campaigns, Wolfe again 
wished for a year and half or two years' leave of absence 
to improve himself while he was capable of improvement, 
and young enough to apply himself to it. He preferred 
to go to Turin. His Colonel, Lord Bury, would not hear 
of it, however, but Wolfe declared: " I am still detefmiucd 
to employ some years of my life in the real business of 
an officer, and not sacrifice all my time to idleness, or 
our trifling soldiership. Some of the nations of Europe 
will soon give me an opportunity to put this resolution 
into practice." This he says in April. 

On the 15*** of July he writes his father in a similar 
strain : " I have some thoughts of going this winter into 
Lorraine, to Metz, or Thionville, if you approve the notion. 
If I am absent from the regiment, I suppose it is the same 
thing to the Duke where I am, but to myself of vast im- 
portance. I want to be perfeA in the French language. 
There is a fine academy of artillery and the business of an 
engineer at Metz. I shall be glad of your opinion, by 
which I shall always be regulated. A winter idly spent in 
London (and 'tis difficult not to spend it idly) would, at 
this time, be of sensible prejudice ; perhaps infuse such 
notions and inclinations as are not to be got the better of." 
His dread of idleness shows his active, restive disposition 
and his avoidance of temptations indicates rather more 
than good common sense. Some writers have remarked 

40 Tmi sifiGfi OF QUEBEC C1751 

Wolfe's many expressions of the hope that he might employ 
some years of life in real business, as well as his feverish 
anxiety to do something while he still had the strength 
and the inclination, and have wondered whether he had 
some strange presentiment of a short life and a glorious 

We may reject the supernatural entirely in this case 
and venture the belief that his health was so uncertain 
and his constitutional weakness so apparent to him that 
the conviction of a short life had been forced upon him 
often in his moments of refle<5lion. His ambition led him to 
hope to do something of good for his country, and perhaps 
to leave an enduring name behind him. To do this he 
knew that he must work long and earnestly. The dignity 
of labor was never more graphically set forth by Carlyle's 
pen than by Wolfe's actions. His next letter to his father 
written on the first of September shows his persistence, as 
well as his ideas concerning the professional equipment of 
an officer. He says : " If the request (for leave of absence) 
be properly examined, there can be no objeAion to it ; for 
I ask no more than an opportunity to be better acquainted 
with the duty of an officer, and to have it in my duty to 
speak the French language correAly, a language that 
is now in such general use. For idleness or amusement I 
need not go out of London, or at least not further than 
Paris ; but as the business I am going upon will require 
all my labour and attention, I chuse to be at a distance 
from any temptation. If the Duke consents, it will be 
with regret; for the perfection of military knowledge, in 
his Royal Highness's eye, is the command of a regiment 

1751] '^^^'^^' 01* wou*i> 41 

to men of our rank, and his notion of care and diligence 
centres entirely in sticking eternally to the same point, 
vizy the Battalion ; though I could undertake to make it 
appear that nothing is more necessary towards doing one's 
part well than a little respite at convenient seasons. Lord 
Bury, too, will be brought to hearken to such a proposal. 
I intend to try him in a post or two, and ask ten mouths' 
leave at once ... I shall be cruelly disappointed if this 
fails, for my time of application will soon be over, and the 
sooner by the discouragement and mortification that follow 
the disappointment." He was doomed to disappointment 
\vhich he more than half expelled. The Duke was asked 
no less than three times by " powerful people " to grant 
the necessary permission, which he did thrice refuse. He 
accompanied his refusal with the declaration that a lieu- 
tenant colonel was an officer of too high a rank to be 
allowed to leave his regiment for any considerable time. 
Wolfe confided to his friend Rickson then in Nova Scotia 
with Comwallis that '' this is a dreadful mistake, and if 
obstinately pursued, will disgust a number of good inten- 
tions, and preserve that prevailing ignorance of military 
affairs that has been so fatal to us in all our undertakings, 
and will be forever so, unless other measures are pursued. 
We fall every day lower and lower from our real char- 
acters, and are so totally engaged in everything that is 
'' minute and trifling that one would almost imagine the 
idea of war was extinguished amongst us : they will hardly 
allow us to recollect the service we have already seen ; 
that is to say the merit of things seem to return into their 
old channel, and he is the brightest in his profession that 


is the most impertinent, talks londest, and knows leasL'* 
On the first of October his r^^ent was transferred to 
Dundee for clothing and winter quarters and in conse- 
quence he \ras verj- busy for a time. The long expeAed 
leave of absence was at last granted to him but he must 
not go abroad. He submitted with indifferent grace and on 
the 4^^ of No\*ember set out for London where he remained 
till the middle of April. His fears of the eSeA of idleness 
with large opportunities for evil courses were fully realized 
during these few mouths^ after which he turned again to 
the north a sadder^ wiser, older man. To Rickson, while 
still burning with remorse, he made allusion to his exper- 
ieuces in words of more se^-erity than one would now feel 
like using cvniceming his escapades. ^^ In that short time 
I cv>muiitted more impnident acts than in all my life before. 
I lix^ed iu the idlest^ dissolute, abandoned manner that 
cvnild be cv>uceived« aud that not out of vice, which is the 
uK>st extmorvtiuary part of it. I have escaped at length, 
auvl am once again master of my reason, and hereafter it 
will rule my cvniduct. at least I hope so.*- 

It is just as well that he did uot descend to particulars. 
Wo may use with ajHues^^ his own remark upon another 
KKvasi\ni : '' It \\vulvl be a kind of miracle for one of my 
tvjte aud vvmplexivni to gv^ tha>ugh life without stumbling.'* 
IVihaivi his misstep at this time was caused by the cer- 
tainty that hi^ suit fv>r the hand of Miss Lawson had 
dcRtutvlv to be uumbenNi with his failures in life. His 
UK^lunV dc^itv havl been (or him to marr>- the rich heiress 
\4' 0\\^vd\>4i but the marriage of Miss Hoskins to John 
Waulw hVj V v^' Sv^ueirx-es Courts while Wolfe ^-as in 

I75O ^'**'***' ^** WOl.l'K 43 

London, put an end to his hopes in this direction. After 
his London season Wolfe rejoined his regiment at Banff, 
a place which he particularly dislikes, and which was 
probably as dismal a spot as he could have found. His 
only distraction here was furnished by book and pen and 
by the necessary care to restore his shattered health. He 
sought relief by visiting mineral springs near but with no 
beneficial results. 

In October, Wolfe was in Inverness, that picturesque 
little town amongst the hills nearly 200 miles north west 
of Edinburgh which had been garrisoned by English troops 
as early as 1296 and had figured in Scottish history down 
to the battle of Cullodon. Wolfe who probably was not 
upon the field during that decisive struggle took an early 
opportunity to survey it and to send a criticism to his 
father upon the conduct of the English officers. His 
criticism is not detailed but it is so hostile as to cause him 
to say that his censure does not proceed from ill nature, 
but that it is given rather to exercise the faculty of judging 
and is not for the world. His letters show him to be in 
good spirits although not in love with the country or its 
inhabitants. He comforts himself with the refle<5lion that 
the ills he has to put up with are small considering what 
one must meet who makes war his trade. To his mother 
he wrote long letters of not much general importance, but 
sometimes they give charadleristic touches. If the plan of 
this work permitted, it would be worth while to reproduce 
these letters in extenso as well as others which remain 
unnoticed. We cannot refrain even at the risk of encroach- 
ing upon the space allotted to the latter years of Wolfe's 


life, from quoting him here, and in quoting him especially 
when he speaks of himself. " For my part, while I am 
young and in health all the world is my garden and my 
dwelling; and when I begin to decline, I hope my services 
by that time may fairly ask some little retreat, and a 
provision so moderate that I may possess it unenvied. I 
demand no more ; but while I have vigour, if the country 
wants a man of good intentions, they'll find me ready, 
— devoted, I may say, — to their service. 

** Though not of the most melting compassion, I am 
sometimes touched with other people's distresses and par- 
ticipate in their grief. Men whose tenderness is not often 
called U[X)n, obtain by degrees — as you may particularly 
ol>scrvc in old bachelors — a ferocity of nature, or insen- 
sibility al)out the misfortunes that befalls others. There's 
no more tender hearted person than a father or mother 
that has, or has had many children. . . ^^ I have a certain 
turn of mind that favours matrimony prodigiously, though 
every way else extremely averse to it at present, and you 
shall know it. I love children, and think them necessary 
ti) us in our latter days ; they are fit obje<5ls for the mind 
ti) txst uiH)n, and give it great entertainment when amuse- 
ments of other kinds have lost their value. Sure, next to 
l)Otng an honest man and good citizen, it is meritorious to 
P^hIucc such characters amongst men. Our endeavours 
\\c\x HcUlom fail of success ; for 3'oung people are as capable 
of i*ccctvtug gxxxl impressions and good sentiments as 
Imd oncH, and if their natures incline to e\nl, custom and 
iHluoatiou iH>rixx^ lhem/\ • . 

**IfOnl Uuvy pn>fes^s f^irly^ aud means nothing; in 

1752] LIFE OF WOLFE 45 

that he resembles his father, and a million of other showy 
men that are seen in palaces and in the courts of kings. 
He desires never to see his regiment, and wishes that no 
oflScer would ever leave it." 

On the 2"^ of January 1752 (N. S.) he wrote a letter 
that must appeal to all men who have passed the meridian 
of life, and who occasionally wonder what they are and 
whence they came. " The winter wears away, so do our 
years, and so does life itself ; and it matters little where a 
man passes his day and what station he fills, or whether 
he be great or considerable ; but it imports him something 
to look to his manner of life. This day am I five and 
twenty years of age, and all that time is as nothing. 
When I am fifty (if so it happens) and look back, it will 
be the same ; and so on to the last hour. But it is worth 
a moment's consideration that one may be called away on 
a sudden, unguarded and imprepared ; and the oftener 
these .thoughts are entertained, the less will be the dread 
and fear of death. You will judge by this sort of discourse 
that it is the dead of night, when all is quiet and at rest, 
and one of those intervals wherein men think of what they 
really* are, and what they really should be ; how . much is 
expeAed and how little performed. Our short duration 
here, and the doubts of hereafter, should awe and deter the 
most flagitious, if they reflected on them. The little time 
taken in for meditation is the best employed in all their 
lives ; for if the uncertainty of our state and being is then 
brought before us, and that compared with our course of 
conduct, who is there who won't immediately discover the 
inconsistency of all his behaviour and the vanity of all his 


pursuits ? And yet, we are so mixed and compounded 
that though I think seriously this minute, and lie down 
with good intentions, it is likely that I may rise with my 
old nature, or perhaps with the addition of some new 
impertinence, and be the same wandering lump of idle 
errors that I have ever been. You certainly advise me 
well. You have pointed out the only one way where there 
can be no disappointment, and comfort that will never fail 
us— carrying men steadily and cheerfully in their journey, 
and a place of rest at the end. Nobody can be more per- 
suaded of it than I am ; but situation, example, the current 
of things, and our natural weakness draw me away from 
the rest of the herd, and only leave me just strength 
to resist the worst degree of our iniquities. There are 
times when men fret at trifles, and quarrel with their 
toothpicks. In one of these ill habits I exclaim against 
the present condition, and think it is the worst of all ; but 
cooly and temperately it is plainly the best. Where there 
is most employment and least vice, there one should wish 
to be. There is a meanness and a baseness not to endure 
with patience the little inconveniences we are subjedl to ; 
and to know no happiness but in one spot, and that in 
ease, in luxury, in idleness, seems to deserve our contempt. 
There are young men amongst us that have great revenues 
and high military stations, that repine at three months' 
service with their regiments if they go fifty miles from 
home. Soup and venaison and turtle are their supreme 
delight and joy, — an effeminate race of coxcombs the future 
leaders of our armies, defenders and protectors of our great 
and free nation. You bid me avoid Fort William, because 

1752] LIFE OF WOLFE 47 

you believe it still worse than this place. That will not 
be my reason for wishing to avoid it ; but the change of 
conversation, the fear of becoming a mere ruffian, and of 
imbibing the tyrannical principles of an absolute com- 
mander, or giving way insensibly to the temptations of 
power, till I become proud, insolent, and intolerable ; — 
these considerations will make me wish to leave the regi- 
ment before the next winter, and always (if it could be so) 
after eight months' duty ; that by frequenting men above 
myself I may know my true condition, and by discoursing 
with the other sex may learn some civility and mildness 
of carriage, but never pay the price of the last improvement 
with the loss of reason. Better be a savage of some use 
than a gentle amorous puppy, obnoxious to all the world. 
One of the wildest of wild clans is a worthier being than 
a perfect Philander." 

From a letter written ten days later in quite a different 
vein we learn that he had read the mathematics till he had 
grown perfectly stupid, and had algebraically worked away 
the little portion of understanding that had been allowed 
him. The disappointment of his one great desire to get 
away to Europe to study military science and to perfeA 
himself in the accomplishments which he considered neces- 
sary to his position in life, had evidently not so discouraged 
him as to cause him to negle<5l the opportunities and the 
duties lying near him. He observed in the same letter 
that the officers at Inverness were allowed to be the most 
religious foot officers that had been seen in the north for 
many a day, and that some words were thrown away every 
Sunday in prayers for their amendment and exemplary 


life and conversation. Later an application was made 
onsnccessfnlly to Lord George Sackville for the appoint- 
ment of Wolfe as aide-de-camp, but the latter took the 
refusal rather philosophically. He thought, to speak truly, 
that he was by no means calculated for an office of that 
kind, and his judgment was undoubtedly sound. 

We have given some space to Wolfe's little affairs of the 
heart and to his views upon matrimony especially as applied 
to his own case. But like others he was capable of looking 
at such matters from different points. We learn from him 
that he would hardly engage in an affair of that nature 
purely for money, or that unless some gentle nymph did 
violence to his inclinations he would much rather listen to 
the drum and trumpet than to any softer sounds whatever, 
but we are not surprised particulary in consideration of 
the fact that he had to give up the idea of marriage with 
Miss Lawson, to whom he was attached, and that Miss Hos- 
kins who was acceptable to his mother was already married. 

In April he wrote a letter to his father in which he 
nhowH that he still chafes under the restraints of his posi- 
tion as Lieutenant to a Colonel who is too arbitrary in his 
fiiethcKls. If he were left to his own choice, he says, he 
would run away to the Austrian camp at Luxembourg, or 
to the PVench army in Lorraine. That Lord Bury was 
i»<;mething much worse than arbitrary may be seen from 
th#: following discreditable tale. After his arrival in In- 
v4*nwHH on the 1 3^** of April the magistrates of the town 
wuUtA ujKMi him to arrange for a banquet on the Duke of 
(UiUi}Hzr]iiU(VH birthday. He accepted the invitation but 
mmifi^nltj] that the entertainment be postponed to the anni- 

1752] tlFfi OF WOLKfi 49 

versary of Culloden. The members of the deputation asked 
for a day for consideration and for consultation with other 
citizens. Returning they expressed regret that they could 
not see their way clear to alter the date. His Lordship was 
very sorry they had not given him a negative reply at the 
first interview because he had already mentioned the mat- 
ter to his soldiers and he could not be- responsible for their 
conduct should they resent their disappointment. Natur- 
ally, this thinly veiled threat brought about the celebra- 
tion of Culloden almost upon the field of battle, with the 
defeated as unwilling participants. Such conduct on the 
part of Lord Bury was in marked contrast with that of his 
Lieutenant who appears to have done much by his moder- 
ation and by his conciliatory manner to accustom the 
inhabitants of Inverness to the inevitable, and to foster in 
them that respe<5l for the laws and the administration of 
them, that is at the base of all patriotism. 

Wolfe's further stay in Scotland was uneventful, and 
notwithstanding the personal interest attaching to his cor- 
respondence, may be passed over hastily. About the mid- 
dle of May he went to Fort Augustus where there were 
only six or seven officers and eighty men, with very little 
for them to do. 

In consequence he employed his time for a few weeks 
in visiting outposts and in shooting, after which he started 
for Ireland to visit his father's brother. Major Walter Wolfe, 
of Dublin. On the way he visited Perth, Ruthven and 
probably other posts in Scotland, and sailed from Glasgow 
for Portpatrick. He arrived in Dublin on the 12*'' of July 
in better health than he had enjoyed for fourteen mouths, 

50 The siege oi^ Quebec 1752] 

" leaner than can be described, and burnt to a chip." With 
a soldier's instindl he visited Drogheda and the battle field 
on the Boyne, no less famous for its decisive struggle than 
for its rare beauty. The north of Ireland and the vicinity 
of Dublin seemed to Wolfe little inferior in beauty and 
fertility to any parts of England that he had seen. As a 
matter of fact for beauty and diversity of scenery they are 
to-day inferior to no part of the world, unless it be to the 
Vale of Avoca and the rest of southern Ireland. He observed 
that the best estates were even then deeply involved in 
debt, the tenants racked and plundered, and consequently 
industry and good husbandry disappointed or destroyed. 
The far reaching effedls of agrarian troubles were clearly 
recognized by this youthful soldier years before the time 
of Adam Smith. 

The wisdom of Wolfe's judgment upon all topics that 
were suggested to his adlive and observing mind is some- 
what remarkable, and seems to have been ignored entirely 
by those who represent him as a military genius and 
nothing more. A study of his character and of his accom- 
plishments must force one to the conviction that he would 
have achieved reputation or even fame in almost any pro- 
fession or occupation he could have chosen. 

Dublin, much larger then than Belfast, appeared to 
him a prodigious city. The streets were crowded with 
" people of a large size and well limbed, and the women 
very handsome. They have clearer skins and fairer com- 
plexions than the women in England or Scotland, and are 
exceedingly straight and well made." 

After about a week spent in seeing the sights of dear. 

1752] LirK 01^ WOLim 51 

dirty Dublin, Wolfe said farewell to his uncle and sailed 
for Bristol, proceeding thence to London. At last he suc- 
ceeded in getting his long expedled leave of absence from 
the commander-in-chief with permission to visit the con- 
tinent. His Colonel, Lord Bury, interested himself actively 
in his behalf and after leave was obtained gave him a letter 
of introduction to the Earl of Albemarle, Lord Bury's father, 
who was at the time British ambassador in France. Gen- 
eral Wolfe did what was more essential to the enterprise by 
supplying the necessary funds. With the means thus 
furnished and the letter of introduction, Wolfe left London 
on the 2"^ of October for Paris. 



yV/olfe made the passage from London to Paris in five 
days, and immediately after his arrival he began to 
learn riding, dancing and fencing. To acquire rapidly 
an accurate knowledge of the French language he resolved 
to discard, both in conversation and in writing, his mother 
tongue. As there were then many English people in Paris 
with whom he was acquainted he experienced some difficulty 
in carrying his resolution into effect. Lord Albemarle, the 
British ambassador, showed him many kindnesses and 
seemed to be particularly admired by Wolfe for his air, 
his address, his manners, and his graces. 

The letters of Wolfe embrace a large variety of topics 
such as French manners, courts, religious disputes, women 
and gossip. Like a true Briton he rather scorned what he 
regarded as the polish and superficiality of French man- 
ners. He tells his mother that " there are men that only 
desire to shine, and that had rather say a smart thing than 
do a great one ; there are others — rare birds — that had 
rather be than seem to be. Of the first kind this country 
is a well stored magazine ; of the second, our o\ni has some 


few examples." He attended a court funcftioii at Versailles 
with the British ambassador and was the " cold spectator 
of what we commonly call splendour and magnificence." 
He saw the King, the Queen, the Dauphin, the Dau- 
phiness, and most important of all la Marquise de Pompa- 
dour. He was afterwards presented to the King, and was 
received by La Pompadour whom he found extremely 
handsome. The old subject of matrimony crops up again 
in his letters to his father and mother but we learn that 
the affair with Miss Lawson, which was indeed entirely 
one sided, was put aside to rest forever.^' ^ 

Wolfe heard that the French King intended to encamp 
a great part of his army in the early summer in three or 
four divisions, and took immediate steps to gain permission 
to see them as a representative of the English army. He 
hoped also to see the Austrian and the Prussian troops in 
their encampments during the summer and thus to have a 
fulfilment of his long cherished desire. Notwithstanding 
the influence of Lord Albemarle the reply to his applica- 
tion came as an order to return to his regiment in Scotland. 
Hearing that his Major had been stricken with apoplexy 
he set out at the end of March to resume command of the 
regiment, feeling that in the circumstances further leave 
of absence could neither be expedled nor granted. 

Wolfe remained a few days at home with his parents and 
returned with some reluctance to Glasgow where he found 
his regiment in a wretched and disorganized condition. 

(i) Although Wolfe did mention Miss I^awson once later, we nia3' 
here take him at his word and dismiss the question b^' saying that she 
died in March 1759, unmarried. 

1753] ^-^P^ ^^' WOLFE 55 

The Major was dead and his widow and children were in 
tears ; the officers were ruined, desperate, and without hope 
of preferment ; an ensign was struck speechless with palsy, 
and another had become subject to frequent convulsions ; 
some of his people spat blood ; many were anxious to 
sell their commissions. He had suffered every inconven- 
ience and discomfort conceivable on his journey by reason 
of the torturous post-chaises, and of the rude movements 
of the post-horses which he undertook to ride for a change. 
He expeAed to march out of dark and dismal Scotland 
early in August. By that time ambition and the desire to 
please would be utterly extinguished from amongst them. 
This tale of woe is gathered from his first letter to his 
father written on the 22"^ of April. Three weeks later he 
said " We are called sick, officers and soldiers, I am 
amongst the best, and not quite well. In two days we lost 
the skin off our faces, and the third were shivering in great 
coats. Such are the bounties that Heaven has bestowed upon 
this people, and such the blessings of a northern latitude." 
His state of depression was partly induced, no doubt, 
by his disappointment in regard to his continental visit. 
Six months in Paris had probably done more for him than 
he imagined. Apart from his opportunities for learning 
the beauties of the French language, acquiring skill with 
the sword, and graceful movement in the dance, there had 
been time for relaxation, and for that improvement in 
mental attitude which comes insensibly from an enlarged 
view of life in its different phases. But this all made it 
harder for him to go back to the rude life of barracks and 
regimental routine in Scotland. By contrast the amuse- 


ments in Glasgow were mean and tame. According to him 
there were plays, concerts, balls, public and private, besides 
dinners and suppers of the most execrable food upon earth, 
with wine that approached to poison. The men drank till 
they were excessively drunk, (as they sometimes do in 
Glasgow even to this day). The women were cold to 
everything but a bagpipe and the sound of an estate. He 
had told Lord Bury that his observation had pointed out to 
him that to do one's duty well was the roundabout way to 

His letters during the summer show him to have been 
in a bad temper. His mother, from whom Wolfe seems to 
have inherited his disposition and many of his finer quali- 
ties, found it necessary to censure him for some unfilial 
outburst. What she said we do not know, but his reply 
was explanatory, apologetic and philosophical. The warmth 
of his temper he admits, as well as the justice of his 
mother's censure. But he depends upon this warmth of 
temper to support him against the little attacks of his 
brethren, and to find him a way to a glorious, or at least a 
firm and manly end when he is of no further use to his 
friends or country, or when he can be serviceable by offering 
his life for either. 

Siicli tempers are very ticklish, and may undergo a con- 
ftiderablc change by any alteration of air, diet or exercise, 
UH he has often experienced. He protests that nobody has 
pcrlia|)S more reason to be satisfied with his station and 
HWvvtHH in the world, nobody can have better parents, and 
liitliorto lie has never lacked friends. " But happiness, 
or cuHc, which is all we can prentend to, lies in the mind 

1753] '-^^^ OF WOLFE 57 

or nowhere. A man must think himself so, or imagine it, 
or it cannot be. It is not circumstances, advancement, for- 
tune, or good relations and faithful friends that create it, 
'tis the temper, or truly the force of overcoming one or 
more of the leading passions that otherwise must disturb 
us. These passions seem to be in our first composition or 
in nature, and the remedy, as you observe, is in reason. 
But this often fails, at least in our younger days." 

He asks his mother to forgive those defers that are 
visibly in the blood and to set his good qualities in oppo- 
sition to his bad ones, as that is what our feeble condition 
here seems in justice to require. Wolfe's admissions cor- 
roborate the historical judgment that he was of a quick, 
fiery disposition, and the wonder is that he was able to form 
and retain so many warm attachments with his fellow ofl5- 
cers, and to command not only the respedl but love of his 
soldiers. The answer appears in part in the attitude he 
assumed under his mother's rebuke. He was impetuous 
and irritable, but he was just. With his highly sensitive, 
justice loving, and emotional nature he was prepared to 
acknowledge a fault as readily as to commit one, and was 
too generous to cherish a resentment against any one who 
had given offence. Besides, as appears in many important 
events of his life, such as will be mentioned later, he never 
for a moment shirked the responsibility for his words or 
actions. As he expressed himself, " If a man does his 
duty to the best of his judgment and ability, the thoughts 
and reflexions that arise from so doing, are, in my opinion^ 
sufficient satisfaction." 

However, to finish his last campaign in Scotland we 


must proceed to notice that during this summer he was 
engaged a part of the time in building and repairing roads, 
an occupation which was largely carried on in North 
Britain by the English soldiers during their stay there, 
and which served to open up the highlands and other 
remote parts of the lands to the great advantage of the 
inhabitants. On the 7*^ of August, in a letter to his father 
he shows that he was not the slave to forms of drill 
and to the " red book " as other British ofl&cers were 
then and have been since. Lord Bury had changed the 
exercise of the soldiers from very quick to very slow, so 
that at that time of writing they were able to do neither in 
a creditable manner. Wolfe observes that the soldiers knew 
that this was not very material, but he thought that some 
who would be present at a coming review would think 
otherwise. He expresses no concern, however, on this score. 
In the same letter he complains that neither temperance 
nor exercise can preserve him in tolerable health in the 
moisture of the Scottish air, which overmatches all the 
precautions he can take to resist its bad effeAs. 

By the middle of September he and his regiment had 
started on their return to England, having been relieved by 
a battalion from Minorca. Since 1749, fifteen new officers 
besides Wolfe had come into the regiment, so that the 
changes had been many. According to Wolfe they were not 
numerous enough, for on the 22"^ of October he wrote to his 
father that some of them ought to be separated from it 
forever : " If we had any religion or piety, or were at all 
sensible of favours from above, we should be thankful for 
the finest season that ever was. And although we are not, I 

• ■ 


1753-54] LIFE OF WOLFE 59 

am sure, the objects of the peculiar care of Heaven, yet, as 
we have profited by the good things bestowed upon man- 
kind in general, we should join with them in acknowledg- 
ments. If I stay much longer with the regiment, I shall be 
perfe6lly corrupt ; the officers are loose and profligate, and 
the soldiers are very devils." The unfortunate part of this 
characterization of the army, or of this part of it, is that it 
may be accepted without allowance for rhetorical exagge- 
ration. From other sources we may learn the same unpal- 
atable truth. 

In the month of November Wolfe, with six companies of 
the regiment, went into quarters in Dover, occupying the 
ancient castle which is said to date from the time of Julius 

Although Wolfe did not complain much of his quarters 
it seems that he refrained only because it was not becoming 
the character of a soldier to find fault with rude surround- 
ings. At the end of March he wrote to his mother from 
Swinburne and expressed lively satisfaction at his escape 
from such a vile dungeon. His summer was spent in a 
visit to his parents at Blackheath and in having a little 
leisure to ramble about the country, until he arrived at 
Exeter in October for winter quarters. From a letter to 
his mother at about this time we get a glimpse of the 
artistic side of his nature. He said that he knew of nothing 
more entertaining than a collection of well-looking men, 
uniformily clad, performing their exercise with grace and 
order. If he did not profess the business of arms himself 
he would follow all the reviewing generals for the sake of 
seeing the troops. Fleets and fortifications, he adds, would 

H2l >CHCH 05^ ^*HSEC [^755 

-iCTic*: T:;it i;;> :>crcii$:.Y is xrc^^iwctnre. pasurrgg 

¥mii lEfc^n ziesi; ici:ic> -vxiccic Sirrtj ic iZ 3iK^F^aL 

.e^lizkr- ^ "zz:^ 'z:iixt -v-riilc r^tir* -.iie :ii«i. ini connuSK :£ic 
"T — ^ :sr^^"^ ::it :iuw iii\i 1.1 

^ jm TCji m XLir- iiir^ecainca it jpsuss xl ct 

1755] ^-"''''' ^** WOUK 61 

to form part of an expedition to Virginia. Such an enter- 
prise would necessitate the purchase of " a quantity of 
coarse shirts," and how to procure them he did not know. 
He was a Lieutenant Colonel of Foot, twenty eight years 
of age, and not master of fifty pounds. He was so distres- 
sed as to feel " a little uneasy " while he was surrounded 
with miserable devils in the same circumstances, to whom 
a battle would be a happy event. This picture of his affairs 
shows how little there was in the profession of arms to 
encourage competent, ambitious men to take or to retain 
commissions. Sir John Mordaunt had interested himself to 
secure Wolfe's promotion and had hit upon the happy plan 
of having General Wolfe resign the colonelcy of his regiment 
in favour of his son who would in turn settle an annuity upon 
the retired soldier. The father appears to have concurred 
in this scheme, but the younger officer saw an obvious 
danger in accepting it. What with ill health, a broken 
constitution, and the chances of war, his expec^tions of 
life were short, and there was great danger that prede- 
ceasing his father he would leave him with neither the 
colonel's pay nor the annuity. The matter was thus 
dropped, and the generous old father replenished the son's 
empty purse from his own, which was none too full. 

As one of the objects of quoting so often and so fully 
from Wolfe's letters is to display to the reader, rather than 
to tell him, the character of the man, we must now in 
fairness show him in his sterner aspe6l, aggressive, relent- 
less, sanguinary. Although gentle in peace and fierce in 
war he is consistent in his attitudes, so widely separated 
in appearance. The intense earnestness of the man 


explains the existence of such opposite types, without the 
assumption of a dual consciousness. 

After expressing the warmest friendship for and attach- 
ment to Rickson, now returned from Nova Scotia and 
stationed at Fort Augustus, he speaks of the campaign of 
^745- " What would have been the effecft of a sudden march 
into the middle of the clan that was the first to move ? 
What might have been done by means of hostages of wives 
and children, or the chiefs themselves?... If, notwith- 
standing all precautions, they get together, a body of troops 
may make a diversion, by laying waste a country that the 
male inhabitants have left to prosecute rebellious schemes. 
How soon they must return to the defence of their property 
(such as it is) their wives, their children, their houses, and 
tlieir cattle ! But, above all, the secret, sudden night-march 
into the midst of them ; great patrols of fifty, sixty, or one 
hundred men each, to terrify them ; letters to the chiefs, 
threatening fire and the sword and certain destruction if 
they dare to stir; movements that seem mysterious, to 
keep the enemy's attention upon you, and their fears 
awake ; these, and the like, which your experience, reading, 
and good sense would point out, are the means to prevent 
mischief "... 

Speaking of the alarms that they may experience in 
the north, and of the steps Rickson should take to deal 
with any uprising which a war with France was likely to 
encourage, he proceeds : ^'^ " Mr. M'Pherson should have a 

(i) M'Pherson, of Cluny, was a noted outlaw who had been captain of 
one of the independent Highland companies before "the 45 ". Being 

1755] ^^^^^ ^^^ wolkU 63 

couple of hundred men in his neighbourhood, with orders 
to massacre the whole clan, if they show the least symptom 
of rebellion. They are a warlike tribe and he is a cunning, 
resolute fellow himself. 

They should be narrowly watched ; and the party 

should be well commanded will have told you that I 

tried to take hold of that famous man with a very small 
detachment. I gave the sergeant orders — in case he should 
succeed, and was attacked-by the clan, with a view to rescue 
their chief — to kill him instantly, ^'^ which I concluded 
would draw on the destruction of the detachment, and 
furnish me with a sufficient pretext (without waiting for any 
instru(5lions) to march into their country, oil j^ aurais fait 
main basse ^ sans misiricorde. Would you believe that I am 
so bloody ? It was my real intention and I hope such 
execution will be done upon the first that revolt, to teach 
them their duty, and keep the Highlands in awe. They 
are a people better governed by fear than favour." 

Upon the death of the Earl of Albemarle, Lord Bury, 
his eldest son, succeeded to the peerage, and was appointed 
Colonel of a cavalry regiment. This created a vacancy in 
the 20^ to which Wolfe thought his services entitled him. 
His hopes of a colonelcy were soon dashed by the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Philip Honeywood, and he informed his 
father that he had determined not to serve one moment 

made a prisoner by a rebel party he espoused the Pretender's cause and 
for years eluded the pursuit of the military authorities. 

(i) In the Rickson letters, published many years ago in Scotland, 
this passage is omitted. 


jcciger than necessary, in honour, even if he should starve. 
A lev da\^ later when his anger had somewhat cooled he 
explained to his father that Lord Albemarle had informed 
'^•-n that General Hawke was to have the regiment and 
Wo^e was to remain in command. To this arrangement 
lit liad apparently no objection as Hawke, being a general 
oScer. had a title superior to his. However, he accepted 
tbe inevitable and comforted himself with the refleAion 
zhsi he could " jog on in the easiest position in the army." 
I>:ir:ag this summer of 1755 Wolfe's life was uneventful 
bn his correspondence was interesting. In it he shows 
iiir he bad an intelligent general grasp of the military 
^zzLizkfa and of the progress of affairs in India and in 
He had heard favourable reports of Braddock and 

5£ir bopes of his success. And although France and 
Ft- g-'.snd had been nominally at peace since 1 748 his letters 
pcvre that he knew, as did many others, that each country 
whB simply awaiting a favourable opportunity to declare war 
x^x: ihe other. Admiral Boscawen had captured the 
* Aliiie " and the " Lys " off the coast of Cape Breton and 
hiii ziken as prisoners the Governor of Louisbourg and 
f-,-r French officers. Wolfe remarks to his old friend 
yJxiJLSon that *' if the French resent the a£Front put upon 
zzftiz bv Mr. Boscawen the war will come on hot and 
iTZuiiitzi '\ Soon after this, Braddock made his ill fated 
xrrA.:k upon Fort Duquesne where he suffered a defeat in 
izr/z a way as to illustrate and justify the severest criticism 
^x W^Aie as to the inefficiency of the army chiefs and of 
•jie niilitarj' organization. Wolfe's opinion of Braddock 
v^i very much better than the latter deserved. 

1755] ^-"'^' ^^^ WOLFrt 65 

On the 4*** or September, nearly two months after the 
event, Wolfe wrote to his father in the following terms : — 

" The accounts of Mr. Braddock's defeat are not yet 
clear enough to form a right judgment of the cause of it, 
but I do myself believe that the cowardice and ill-behaviour 
of the men far exceeded the ignorance of the chief, who 
though not a master of the difficult art of war, was yet a 
man of sense and courage. I have but a very mean opinion 
of the Infantry in general. I know their discipline to be 
bad, and their valour precarious. They are easily put into 
disorder, and hard to recover out of it. They frequently 
kill their officers through fear, and murder one another in 
their confusion ... I am sorry to say that our method of 
training and instructing the troops is extremely defeAive, 
and tends to no good end. We are lazy in time of peace, 
and of course want vigilance and activity in war. Our 
military education is by far the worst in Europe, and all 
our concerns are treated with contempt or totally negleAed. 
It will cost us very dear some time hence. I hope the day 
is at a distance, but I am afraid it will come." 

In a letter to his mother shortly after he makes a refer- 
ence to himself that may well lead to a digression. He 
offers to play piquet with his mother from morning till 
night and to allow her to laugh at his short red hair as 
much as she likes. 

The Spectator in the first number remarked that he had 
observed that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, 
till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or fair 
man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bach- 
elor, with other particulars of a like nature. 


Although we have a good many portraits and des- 
criptions of our hero, it must be admitted that the varia- 
tions are so great as to make it diflScult to picture him 
to our imagination. 

As to his physique, there is not much uncertainty, but 
his features have been variously portrayed from the cari- 
cature of Captain Hervy Smith to the rather good looking 
youth of Highmore. He was tall, ereA, spare and active. 
Dr. Hinde, his family physician, who died in 1826, and is 
sometimes erroneously said to have been with him at his 
death, frequently described him as " a tall and robust 
person, with fair complexion and sandy hair, possessing a 
countenance calm, resolute, confident and beaming with 
intelligence." Dr. Cutter who was bom in Maine and who 
served as surgeon of the New Hampshire troops in the 
expedition against Louisbourg in 1 758, used to speak of 
Wolfe's " easy and engaging manners and chivalrous 
character," which " rendered him no less the idol of the 
army than his subsequent services justly made him the 
favorite of his country." 

Despite his own references to his awkward appearance, 
it is evident that he had a manly, soldierly bearing, not 
devoid of grace. His hair was red, his eyes were blue, 
and his complexion had that clearness which usually 
chara(5lerizes " sandy " people. His face as usually repre- 
sented is positively ugly in repose, although it changed 
nuich under animation. Excepting the firm severe mouth 
his features were decidedly weak. The chin and forehead 
were both small and recediug, while his nose and cheek 
bones were prominent. His profile has not been inaptly 

.•//„.//,;„■'•■<'„(,,/ U.;„„l,;, 

1755] ''^^**''' O^* WOLPi: 67 

described as an obtuse angled triangle, the nose forming 
the apex. 

Still this pen picture of Wolfe when compared with the 
only two undoubted portraits known does not do him 

Romney made Wolfe's death the subject of a painting 
for which he received a prize from the Society of Arts, and 
later, Benjamin West, the American artist, painted his 
famous historical picture, as it is erroneously called, which 
established his reputation. This pi<5lure is well grouped, 
and contains the portraits of Monckton, Dr. Adair, Capt. 
Hervey Smith, Major Barr6, Col. Williamson, Col. Napier 
and others, most of whom certainly were not with Wolfe 
at his death, and several of whom were not at Quebec on 
the 13^ of September. Wolfe's portrait in this picture is 
the conventional one, but bears of course the agonizing 
look appropriate to the supreme moment. It is said that 
West, after his picture had been finished and had left his 
hands, saw the portrait which was in the Warde family and 
expressed a regret that he had not seen it before he had 
made his picture. 

These two pictures of Romney and of West were not 
painted from life and it is doubtful whether either had 
ever seen the subject of his work. 

The reader will find short explanatory notes in con- 
nection with such of these pictures as are reproduced in 
this work. 

If we now return to Wolfe's actions, or rather to his life 
for he appeared to be doing very little, we find that in the 
autumn of 1755 he is still complaining that the whole 


business of the army seemed to be confined to reviews. To 
his mother he declares that " The officers of the army in 
general are persons of so little application to business, and 
have been so ill educated, that it must not surprise you to 
hear that a man of common industry is in reputation 
amongst them. I reckon it a very great misfortune to this 
country that I, your son, who have, I know, but a very 
moderate capacity, and some degree of diligence a little 
above the ordinary run, should be thought, as I generally 
am, one of the best officers of my rank in the service. I am 
not at all vain of the distindlion. The comparison would 
do a man of genius very little honour, and does not illus- 
trate me by any means ; and the consequence will be very 
fatal to me in the end, for as I rise in rank people will 
expeft some considerable performances, and I shall be 
induced, in support of an ill-got reputation, to be lavish of 
my life, and shall probably meet that fate which is the 
ordinary effeft of such condudl." The notice which he 
seemed to command by his military knowledge and by his 
devotion to duty was not confined to oflScers of his own or 
of a subordinate rank. " If I don't keep a good watch on 
myself I must be a little vain, for the Duke has of late 
given me such particular marks of his esteem and con- 
fidence that I am ashamed not to deserve it better." 
References to the French and to the storm that was surely 
brewing are frequent. So are the allusions to the desire of 
France to invade the shores of Kent if her troops can quietly 
get there to try conclusions with the English forces. Wolfe 
seems to fear the strength of France less than the weakness 
of England. He describes the army as about as merry. 

1756] LIFE OF WOLFE 69 

as easy, and as indifferent as the civilians are supposed to 
be. Nobody seemed to think that the French had either 
will or power to resent the affronts put upon them, and 
some even doubted whether they were out of humour at 
all or not. 

In the year 1756, Wolfe's letters show that he was quite 
convinced that war between France and England was 
inevitable and near. He believed that France would first 
make an attempt with her fleet and should it prove superior 
to that of England, a formidable attack would be made. 
" The confidence, or rather stupidity of the people of this 
country surpasses belief. Secure in their ignorance and 
presumption, they set the whole force of France at defiance." 
This language, a hundred and fifty years old, has been 
applicable to British army methods and has been applied 
with varying phrases and severity on many occasions, 
even up to the present time. And yet England was girding 
up her loins for a struggle that was to establish her power 
in far away India and in Canada, and that was to terminate 
more gloriously for her than had any contest into which 
she had ever entered. The student of history will recognize, 
however, that her triumphs did not rest upon the genius 
of her commanders but rather upon the unbounded confi- 
dence inspired in the English people by the great com- 
moner who was at this time coming into prominence, and 
by the material resources which enabled her to strengthen 
her navy, to maintain her armies through defeat and vic5lory, 
and to emerge with her strength unimpaired and her con- 
fidence justified. 

Wolfe had an occasional word of praise for his fellow 


Cheers. Nobody, be decbired, deserved tbe King's favonr 
more than Amherst, under whom he was destined to serve 
in America a few years later. His regiment was marched 
from Canterbury to Devizes in the month of May, bnt he 
was disappointed in his intended visit to his mother on 
the way. The Island of Minorca, at this time in possession 
frf the French, caused Wolfe great anxiety, and the disgrace 
into which Admiral Byngfell through his failure to engage 
the enemy when he had an excellent chance to do so, 
infuriated the impetuous Wolfe, whose whole career showed 
that he understood that war was undertaken chiefly in 
order to fight the enemy, and when Byng's life was about 
to pay the penalty of his timidity, Wolfe's heart did not 
soften, as did many others. To him failure to engage an 
enemy could mean only cowardice or treachery, both 
military crimes deserving death. 

On the i8^ of July he wrote a notable letter to Mr. 
Townshend, afterwards Lord Sidney, who had sought his 
advice concerning a younger brother who was an oflBcer 
in the army. After assuming that the young officer knew 
Latin and French and had some knowledge of mathematics, 
without which last subjeift one could not expe(5l to become 
acquainted with the constniction of fortiflcations and the 
attack and defence of places, he advises that if it had not 
already been done he should, while yet young, give up a 
year or two to the study of mathematics. He proceeds : — 
'* As to the books that are 6ttest for his purpose, he may 
begin with the * King of Prussia's Regulations for his 
Horse and Foot,' where the economy and good order of an 
army in the lower branches are extremely well established. 


1756] LIPE OF WOLFE 7 1 

Then there are the Memoirs of the Marquis de Santa Cruz, 
Fouqui&res, and Montecucculi ; Folard's 'Commentaries 
upon Polybius ' ; the ' Projet de Tactique ' ; * L'Attaque 
et la Defense des Places,' par le Mar6chal de Vauban; 
* Les M^moires de Goulon ; ' ' L'Ingenieur de Campagne.' 
Le Sieur Renie for all that concerns artillery. Of the 
ancients, Vegetius, Caesar, Thucydides, Xenophon's * Life 
of Cyrus ' and * Retreat of the Ten Thousand Greeks.' 
I do not mention Polybius, because the Commentaries and 
the History naturally go together. Of later days, Davila, 
Guicciardini, Strada, and the ' Memoirs of the Due de 
Sully.' There is an abundance of military knowledge to 
be picked out of the lives of Gustavus Aldophus, and 
Charles XII, King of Sweden, and of Zisca the Bohemian, 
and if a tolerable account could be got of the exploits of 
Scanderberg, it would be inestimable; for he excels all 
the officers, ancient and modem, in the condu(5l of a small 
defensive army. I met with him in the Turkish History, 
but nowhere else. The * Life of Suetonius,' too, contains 
many fine things in this way. There is a book lately 
published that I have heard commended, L'Art de la 
Guerre Pratique.' — " I suppose it is colle<5led from all the 
best authors that treat of war ; and there is a little volume, 
entitled * Traits de la Petite Guerre,' that your brother 
should take in his pocket when he goes upon out-duty and 
detachments. The Mar6chal de Puys6gur's book, too, is 
in esteem. 

" I believe Mr. Townshend will think this catalogue 
long enough ; and if he has patience to read, and desire to 
apply (as I am persuaded he has), the knowledge contained 


in them, there is also wherewithal to make him a consi- 
derable person in his profession, and of course very useful 
and serviceable to his country. In general, the lives of 
all great commanders, and all good histories of warlike 
nations, will be instruftive, and lead him naturally to 
endeavour to imitate what he must necessarily approve of. 

" In these days of scarcity, and in these unlucky times, 
it is much to be wished that all our young soldiers of birth 
and education would follow your brother's steps, and, as 
they will have their turn to command, that they would try 
to make themselves fit for that important trust ; without 
it we must sink under the superior abilities and indefati- 
gable industry of our restless neighbours. You have 
drawn a longer letter upon yourself than perhaps you 
expelled; but I could hardly make it shorter, without 
doing wrong to a good author. In what a strange manner 
have we conducted our affairs in the Mediterranean ! 
Quelle belle ouasion manqute ! " 

Were it consistent with the plan of this book, it would 
be interesting to reproduce the letters in whole or in sub- 
stance written by Wolfe during the autumn of 1756, but 
although his remarks upon current events were instni<5live, 
they throw no new light upon his character as a soldier 
or as a man. Perhaps his sensitiveness, and his confidence 
in himself, happily justified by his actions, are emphasized 
by an extract from a letter to his mother. (Dec. 6, 1756.) 

" I persuade myself they will put no inferior ofiicer 
(unless a peer) over my head, in which case I can't com- 
plain, not being able to say that I have ever done more 
than my duty, and happy if I came up to that. If any 

1756] LIFE OF WOLFE 73 

soldier is preferred when my turn comes, I shall acquaint 
the Secretary at War that I am sensible of the injury that 
is done me, and will take the earliest opportunity to put it 
out of his or any man's power to repeat it. Not while the 
irar lasts; for if 500 youncer officers, one nfter nnotlier 
were to rise before me, I should continue to serve with the 
utmost diligence, to acquit myself to the country, and to 
show the Ministers that they had afted unjustly. But I 
flatter myself that I shall never be forced to these dis- 
agreeable measures.'' 

Wolfe was recommended shortly after this letter to 
the favorable notice of the King by Sir John Mordaunt, 
who afted without the previous knowledge of his friend. 
Although his kindly intentions bore no fruit, the office of 
Barrackmaster-General and that of Quartermaster-General 
were soon offered by the Duke of Bedford, who was then 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Wolfe understood that the 
rank of Colonel would be conferred upon him and informed 
his father that he would soon resign and return to his 
battalion if this rank were omitted. However, the King, 
guided by the Duke of Cumberland, refused the promotion, 
on the ground that Wolfe was so young a lieutenant- 
colonel that it could not be made at once. The Duke of 
Bedford fulfilled his promise to his Quarter-Master by 
insisting as long as possible, although without success. 

On the 19^*^ of February, he wrote to the Duke a modest 
letter of acceptance before the question of rank was settled, 
and four days later he wrote to his mother a letter which 
showed his patriotism in a practical light. He did not 
offer, like a modem American humorist, to sacrifice all his 


wife's relatives for the sake di his country, but he urged 
his ^^ virtuous, good and disinterested " mother to interest 
herself on behalf of the public to persuade the General, 
her husband, to contribute freely to the defence di the 
island — ^by engag^g in lotteries and other schemes for 
raising money, by which he would lose and, presumably, 
the state would gain ; by lending to the Government 
without interest, or ; indeed, giving, three or four thousand 
pounds ^^ the savings of his salaries and the reward ci his 


Cdnsidering the advanced age of both his feither and 
mother, Wolfe's advice must be considered as more than 

In fadl, in a letter to Rickson in July, before his departure 
for Rochefort, he expressed the fear that he should never 
see either of his parents again, his mother being then 
dangerousU* ill^ and his feither ^^ infirm with age." 

He did not immediately resign his new offices, but made 
an attempt to enter upon active service on the continent 
with the Duke of Cumberland^ which would have furnished 
him employment more to his liking and have given him an 
opportunity of resigning his commission for reasons that 
would commend themselves to all. 

Although France and England were now fully committed 
to the seven years' war, less welcome to France with her 
financial embarassments and her feeble naw. we shall not 
here discuss any of the causes^ or follow any of the events 
except those in which Wolfe had some part. His great 
rival, with whose name he is ft>re\"er linked in history-, 
was now in Canada as commander in chief of the Fr^ich 

1757] L^^^ OP WOLFE 75 

army there. In the biography of this French General we 
shall have occasion to touch upon many points which 
otherwise might be mentioned here. 

It must be remarked, however, that with the changing 
ministries King and country had learned that Pitt must 
have a paramount place. After the lapse of eleven weeks 
without a ministry, a coalition was formed between New- 
castle and Pitt, the former being treasurer and premier, 
with the congenial task of party management and the 
distribution of patronage, while Pitt, as principal secretary 
ofState, took absolute control of foreign affairs and directed 
the war policy of the nation. It was his boast that he 
could save the country and that no one else could. He 
determined to bring France low, to strip her of her colonies, 
sweep her vessels from the sea, and by destroying her 
commerce to establish British trade. 

It seemed to him that a favorable time had come for 
striking a severe blow, not only in America, but on the 
very shores of France. The insane dread that Englishmen 
had experienced of a French invasion of their little island 
had passed away, but confidence in their great power was 
not entirely restored. 

Pitt determined to attack the French at home. An 
Bnglish officer, named Clarke, who had travelled in France 
a few years before, had represented that Rochefort, a naval 
arsenal on the Bay of Biscay, was not properly defended 
and was susceptible to attack. He pointed out that the 
shipping in the harbour and the sea stores on land could be 
destroyed or captured without much risk to the attacking 


This suggestion ¥ras made known to Pitt, who at once 
saw the reasonableness oi the proposal and the advantage 
to be deri\*ed from a snccessfiil operation against the French 
coast. If not much damage were done to the French by 
an attack here, at any rate the confidence oi the English 
pec^le would be assured by an aggressive policy, whfle a 
di\-ersiou would be created in fovor ci Frederick di Prussia, 
whom the Duke c^ Cumberland was assisting with troc^ 
in Germany. France certainly could not make a strong 
d^ence by sea and having 150^000 men engaged with 
Frederick, it could not in all probability offer a great resis- 
tance to an unexpected attack on the coast. 

Accordingly Pitt« although the season was far advanced 
when he adopted the plan, set about with charaiftenslic 
energy to fit out a secret expedition. Lord Anson the 
bejid of the admiralty, was ordered to have the fleet ready 
to set sail upon a certain day^ and sailors were impressed 
at every sea port : provisions were ordered for six months, 
and the transports were provided with ten boats each, so 
that A mpid Lmdiug might be effected. Although Lord 
Attsou had declared to Pitt that it was impossible to have 
the deec equipped at the appointed time, everythrug was 
in readiness early in September, some six weeks after the 
plan was msvxKed. The extrioniituucy haste with which 
the orders of Pitt were executed is accounted for by the 
tict that he threatened Lord Anson with impeachment if 
thev were not carried out as directed. 

T!ie chief naval command was entrusted to Sir Edward 
Hawke. and the land forceSv ioaVV> men. were placed 
under the command of Sir John Mocdaunt. Lord Georg:e 

I757J ^^^^ OF WOLFE 5^7 

Sackville had declined to aA as commander in chief on so 
important an expedition, and the King had objected to 
Major General Conway as too young an officer for so great 
a responsibility. In an evil hour Sir John Mordaunt was 
chosen for what he had been rather than for what he was. 
He had adopted the profession of arms thirty-six years 
before this time and had served with something not much 
less than distin(5lion in the wars of his day. However, he 
was not bom to greatness, nor did he achieve it. When 
it was thrust upon him he had reached the period of the 
sere and yellow leaf. With failing health and bodily 
powers his mind became enfeebled, a fa(5l that was most 
noticeable by reason of his growing indecision, his lack of 
of self reliance, and his mental sluggishness. 

Major General Conway was the second in command, and 
it appears to have been expected that he would supply the 
energy and the activity which were wanting in the older 
man. If this were so, a second mistake was made in his 
appointment. Walpole who was decidely friendly has cha- 
racterized him as wanting " the ex-trinsic of merit. Added 
to these little failings, he had a natural indecision in his 
temper, weighing with too much minuteness, and to much 
fluctuation, whatever depended on his own judgment." 
The third General officer was Cornwallis, and Lieut.-Colonel 
Wolfe was the fourth in rank, as quarter-master general. 
Walpole describes him in connection with this proposed 
descent upon Rochefort in these terms : — " Under these 
was Wolfe, a young officer who had contracted reputation 
from his intelligence of discipline, and from the perfection 
to which he brought his own regiment. The world could 

78 rut SltGt OF QUEBEC 1^757 

not expeft more of him than he thought himself capable 
of performing. He looked upon danger as the favourable 
moment that would call forth his talents." 

The position which Wolfe was to occupy was not one in 
which he could distinguish himself, or in which danger 
could call forth his talents. 

Before his departure, he wrote a letter to the Duke of 
Bedford under whom he held his Irish appointment, to give 
him reasons for his expefted absence. For this letter he 
says, with a characteristic turn, that upon what service he 
is going he does " not pretend to guess ; nor ought we to 
be very solicitous about it, rather desiring to serve well 
than to know where." 

On the 7"> of September, the whole fleet set sail, carrying 
ten infantry regiments, fifty light horse, a large train of 
artillery and everything in fadl that was needed for the 
enterprise. As some one wittily remarked nothing was 
lacking but a general. 

So secret had been the plans that the destination of the 
fleet was a matter of conjecture even when Englands' 
shores were left behind. The passage was slow and tedious, 
calms and fogs retarding the movement of the ships five 
days together. 

The orders were as definite and as mandatory as could 
be given in such a case. " You are," they read, " to attempt, 
as far as shall be found practicable a descent with the 
forces under your command, on the French coast, at or 
near Rochefort ; in order to attack, if practicable, and by 
a vigorous impression force that place ; and to bum and 
destroy, to the utmost of your power, all Docks, Magazines, 

1757J L^^-^' ^^ WoLFE 7^ 

Arsenal and Shipping that may be found there ; and exert 
such other eflForts as you judge most proper for annoying 
the enemy." 

Admiral Hawke, after an examination of the coast, was 
of opinion that a landing could be effected. The landing 
place was good, the sea was calm, there were no French 
batteries near enough to prevent an orderly disembark- 

The inhabitants, of course, gave alarm signals which 
called all available defence into place and diminished the 
advantage that was anticipated from an unexpected attack. 
Yet there was indecision, delay, divided counsel. 

The fleet and army lay ina<5live five days before Roche- 
fort while prisoners were being examined and councils of 
war were being held. 

Sir John Mordaunt and his council decided that it would 
be too dangerous an undertaking, because it might be 
difficult or impossible to re-imbark the troops if bad weather 
should come. In consequence of this and of the long 
passage, which had given the French timely warning, the 
council judged that the defence would be too strong for 
the attack. Yet after this conclusion two days more were 
spent in deliberation, with the result that it was decided 
to land the troops with all possible despatch ! 

At midnight the troops were transferred to boats where 
they awaited orders for three hours. And when the orders 
came they were to the effedl that the troops were to return 
to the transports. This they did with murmurs of dis- 

Wolfe's part in this sorry business was useless except as 

•*Hh SiJKE OF QUEBEC [^757 

^..^^ ;. ^Lricitu^ act!t£xick>n to his military judgment 

. tv iiiiLti :«:rai:J with the commander in chief, he 

X ,' . *-i:oi ^as not justified by his rank or 

^ . Ac. A^ :txvuuoitre the country; and having 

v^ V iv*it:' ?^v: ddvictr as to methods of procedure. 

^ ..^o.. *A*»u d boat upon the island of Aix, which 

^ >^..<*cd ^.> a bombardment, and with a teles- 

^ ^..* t .:K Jistauce a point jutting out between 

V .V. x.V'X'd^^rt and this point, Chattelailon, he 

. ^ ii,.v.>i:i>Ie for the landing of the soldiers. 

N^^ , ^>.v<!<Cv 'i^^u he saw a sandy promontory, called 

^.:.v^i >%a^ vkteuded by a fort which it was neces- 

V vioiv Kvvhefort could be attacked. He then 

V vi^ o lite Adniiniland the commander in chief 

/ .V ^ >*.x: v^^^ 'J^ man-of-war be sent to batter the fort, 

: . V . wni Nr ttude on the side of Rochelle, and that 

.vM.v \% ithout a moment's delay at Chattelailon 

vvv^ccv'it. The Admiral approved the plan so 

* N. X vvncvvneil, sent officers to make soundings, 

'\Ci\iUtuc i" readiness for the proposed descent. 

v"^ ..Uitivva v^' the 24^^ of September, the officers who 

V V ; V sv^udi^^tr* returned with a favorable report. 

S:*^ KviMiAixl Hawke had maturely considered this 

* ^ - uitvxruicvl Sir John Mordaunt that he thought 

^NT'*i:<i; Uud. and Sir John immediately called a council 

^. .,. .v^ .vusklcr the matter. 

' IX^ s\**^.<KionUion lasted the whole of the next day, and 

*- * 

» \ •>. 

1757] ^^^^ OF WOLFE 81 

resulted as we have already mentioned, in the rejection of 
the proposal and in an abortive decision on the 28^ to 

The admiral then informed the commander in chief that 
if there was nothing to be done he would withdraw the 
fleet and return to England. Thus ended the expedition 
upon which a million of pounds had been thrown away. 

An investigation was held into the condu<5l of the expe- 
dition, the report of which reads like a comedy. 

It appeared from the explanations of the chief officers 
that the troops could not land by night, because they should 
have a full view of the place where they were to touch the 
shore ; they could not land by day for fear that the enemy 
would see them ; and they could not land by moonlight 
which, for some obscure reason, was considered worst of 

General Conway had recorded in his notebook the faft 
that one Boneau, a French fisherman who had been taken 
prisoner, '' was examined almost a whole day before the 
council and,^^ he naively adds, " he was so very indistin(5l 
and unsatisfactory that the council was quite out of patience 
with him." 

The patience of a council of war that could waste a 
whole day examining a fisherman as to fortifications and 
military engineering seems for practical purposes inex- 
haustable, but it was not greater than the caution of the 
men who further explained that they did not try to eSeA 
a landing because they thought the enemy might be con- 
cealed behind the neighbouring sand hills. The report 

after the investigation was over rejected all excuses as 


^2 The siege of QUEBEC [i757 

insufficient. It reads, in part : " We conceive another 
cause of the failure of the expedition to have been, that, 
instead of attempting to land when the report was received 
on the 24^** of September, from Rear Admiral Brodrick and 
the Captains, ^'^ who had been sent to sound and recon- 
noitre, a council of war was summoned and held on the 
25^^*, in which it was unanimously ^^^ resolved not to land ; 
as the attempt upon Rochefort was neither advisable nor 
praAicable. But it does not appear to us, that there were 
then, or at any time afterwards, either a body of troops, or 
batteries on the shore, sufficient to have prevented the 
attempting a descent in pursuance of the instructions 
signed by your Majesty ; neither does it appear to us, that 
there were any sufficient reasons to induce the council of 
war to believe that Rochefort was so far changed in respedl 
of its strength, or posture of defence, since the expedition 
was first resolved on in England, as to prevent all attempts 
of an attack upon the place, in order to bum and destroy 
the docks, magazines, arsenals, and shipping, in obedience 
to your Majesty's commands. 

" And we think ourselves obliged to remark upon the 
council of war, of the 28^** of September, that no reason 
could have existed, sufficient to prevent the attempt of 
landing, previous to that day, as the council then unani- 
mously resolved to land with all possible despatch." 

" We can not but look upon the Expedition as having 
failed, from the time the great object of it was laid aside in 

(i) They had been sent to sound and reconnoitre as a consequence of 
Wolfe's plans, as we have already said. 

(2) Lt.-Col. Wolfe naturally was not one of this council. 

1757] L^^^ ^^ WOLFE 83 

the council of war on the 25***/' This last clause is remark- 
able as justifying the judgment of Wolfe, the quarter- 
master, whose plan would undoubtedly have resulted in 
a great success. In fa6l the French themselves when they 
heard of the attempt, declared that the English had found 
their weak spot, and expelled nothing less than a disaster. 

The members of the connnission of enquiry were Lieu- 
tenant General the Duke of Marlborough, Major General 
Lord George Sackville, and Major General Waldegrave, 
whose report was delivered on the 2i*' of November. 

No action was taken against Conway or Comwallis, but 
Sir John Mordaunt was brought to trial before a court 
martial and acquitted. Wolfe's evidence was taken in both 
cases, and his replies, his wide military knowledge, his 
alertness of judgment, made a profound impression, and 
created the conviction that had he, young as he was, been 
in command, the King's instructions would have been car- 
ried out and France would have received a severe blow. 
Besides, Admiral Hawke who probably knew precisely 
what Wolfe proposed to do, spoke in high terms of praise 
of him to Lord Anson, who took the trouble to repeat the 
Admiral's words to the King. 

In consequence of this Wolfe received the rank of colonel 
to which he had been long aspiring. 

After his return to England he wrote several letters in 
which he gives an account of the Rochefort expedition, 
but although his condu6l had marked him for promotion 
he has no word of praise for himself, no hint as to his good 
but unheeded advice. At the risk of much iteration we 
will quote a few characteristic passages. 

§4 ^HE Sl^E OF QUEBEC [1757 

To his mother to whom his self praise would have 
sounded sweet he says : " As to the expedition, it has been 
conducted so ill that I am ashamed to have been one of the 
party. The public could not do better than dismiss six or 
eight of us from the service. No zfeal, no ardour, no care 
or concern for the good and honour of the country. I have 
begun to dismiss myself by surrendering up my oflSce of 
Quartermaster-General for Ireland." 

However, humiliation over the Rochefort affair was not 
the chief reason for his resigning his Irish appointment 
for he adds : " They thought proper to put a younger 
lieutenant-colonel over me, and I thought it proper to 
resign. My Lord Barrington says, he has nothing to do 
with Irish affairs, so refers me to Mr. Secretary Rigby ; 
but his Lordship desired me to suspend my operations for 
a few days, which I accordingly do. I will certainly not 
go to Ireland without the rank of colonel, and am indifferent 
whether I get it or not. I can't part with any other em- 
ployment, because I have nothing else to trust to ; nor do 
I think it consistent with honour to sneak off in the middle 
of a war.'' This letter was written on the 17^^ of October, 
before the investigation or the court martial. 

On the following day he wrote to his uncle Walter, a 
letter from which we extract a summary of events arranged 
under dates : 

"The season of the year and the nature of the enter- 
prise called for the quickest and most vigorous execution, 
whereas our proceedings were quite otherwise. We were 
in sight of the Isle of Rh6 the 20^^ September, consequently 
were seen by the enemy (as their signals left us no room 

1757] ^^^^ O^ WOLFE 85 

to doubt) and it was the 23*"* before we fired a gun. That 
afternoon and night slipped through our hands, — the lucky 
moment of confusion and consternation among our ene- 

" The 24***, Admirals and Generals consult together, and 
resolve upon nothing between them but to hold a council 
of war. 

" The 25^, this famous council sat from morning till 
late at night, and the result of the debates was unanimously 
not to attack the place they were ordered to attack, and 
for reasons that no soldier will allow to be sufficient. 

" The 26^, the Admiral sends a message to the General, 
intimating that if they did not determine to do something 
there he would go to another place. 

" The 27^, the Generals and Admirals view the land 
with glasses, and agree upon a second council of war, 
having by this time discovered their mistake. 

" The 28*** , they deliberate, and resolve to land that night. 
Orders are issued out accordingly, but the wind springing 
up after the troops had been two or three hours in the 
boats, the officers of the navy declare it difficult and dan- 
gerous to attempt the landing. The troops are commanded 
back to their transports, and so ended the Expedition.*^ 

Though he indulges in no praise of himself he is not slow 
under cover of privacy to express his contempt, too well 
grounded, for his brother officers. He proceeds : " The true 
state of the case is, that our sea officers do not care to be 
engaged in any business of this sort, where little is to be 
had but blows and reputation ; and the officers of the 
infantry are so profoundly ignorant that an enterprise 


of any vigour astonishes them to that degree that they 
have not strength of mind nor confidence to carry it 

" I see no remedy, for we have no officers from the 
Commander-in-chief ^'^ down to Mr. Webb and Lord Howe ; ^'^ 
and the navy list is not much better. If they would even 
blunder on and fight a little, making some amends to the 
public by their courage for their want of skill ; but this 
excessive degree of caution, or whatever name it deserves, 
leaves exceeding bad impressions among the troops, who, 
to do them justice, upon this occasion showed all the signs 
of spirit and good will." 

On the 21'^ of October, Wolfe wrote to his father that 
he had learned that the King had given him the rank of 
colonel, " which at this time is more to be prized than at 
any other, because it carries with it a favourable appear- 
ance as to my conduct upon this last expedition, and an 
acceptance of my good intentions." A few days, later he 
wrote again to his father under somewhat unusal circums- 

The Eighth Regiment of which General Wolfe was the 
colonel formed a part of the recent expedition, but as the 
General was too old and infirm to go to Rochefort he natur- 
ally asked his Lieutenant-Colonel, Lafausille, for a report 
after the return of the troops. 

(M Sir John Ligonier, afterwards Viscount Ligonier of EnniskiUen, 
in tnc fjcerage of Ireland. 

(2) ft IH evident that this is meant as an exception in favour of these 
two gentlemen. In a letter to Rickson from which quotations follow he 
huyu, ** As it is, Captain Howe carried off all the honours of this enter- 

1757] ^-^^*'J'' O^*' WOLFE 87 

The latter, apparently, in the course of the report 
referred General Wolfe to his son for certain particulars 
that he felt unable to give. The son wrote to his father 
in consequence a letter that would not have pleased 
Lafausille. The letter begins : " Tis an admirable circum- 
stance for Lafausille to ask me about an expedition that 
he himself was engaged in. His lumbago left him very 
d propos ; for just as he got to the Basque Road he 
revived. One's native air has surprising effefts ! All 
that I can tell about it is, that we blundered most egre- 
giously on all sides — sea and land ; that we lost three days 
without and three within, and consequently couldn't pro- 
pose to march to Paris this season. I believe the country 
is not able to bear many jokes of this sort ; nor have the 
fleets and arms of this nation reputation enough to excuse 
now and then ^ faux pas. However, let justice be done to 
the executive part; the seamen and soldiers in general 
were most desirous and most earnest for employment. 

" These disappointments, I hope, will not afleA their 
courage ; nothing I think, can hurt their discipline, — it is 
at its worst. They drink and swear, plunder and massacre, 
with any troops in Europe, the Cossacks and Calmucks 
themselves not excepted; with this difference that they 
have not quite so violent an appetite for blood and bon- 

On the 5^ of November he wrote to his old friend 
Rickson even more freely than he had written to his father, 
but in a different vein. He was now writing to a young 
oflScer to whom his own experiences might prove useful, 
and in consequence he devotes the first-part of the letter 


to the lessons he had learned upon the luckless expedition 
without giving a recapitulation of events. 

" I thank you very heartily for your welcome back. I 
am not sorry that I went, notwithstanding what has 
happened ; one may always pick up something useful 
from amongst the most fatal errors. I have found out 
that an Admiral should attempt to run into an enemy's 
port immediately after he appears before it ; that he should 
anchor the transport ships and frigates as close as he can 
to the land ; that he should reconnoitre and observe it as 
quick as possible, and lose no time in getting the troops 
on shore; that previous diredlions should be given in 
respect to landing the troops, and a proper distribution 
made for the boats of all sorts, appointing leaders and fit 
persons for conducting the different divisions. 

" On the other hand,^ experience shows me that, in an 
affair depending upon vigour and dispatch, the Generals 
should settle their plan of operations, so that no time may 
be lost in idle debate and consultations when the sword 
should be drawn ; that pushing on smartly is the road to 
success, and more particularly so in an affair of this nature ; 
that nothing is to be reckoned an obstacle to your under- 
taking which is not found really so upon trial ; that in 
war something must be allowed to chance and fortune, 
seeing it is in its nature hazardous, and an option of diffi- 
culties ; that the greatness of an objeA should come under 
consideration, opposed to the impediments that lie in the 
way ; that the honour of one's country is to have some 
weight ; and that, in particular circumstances and times, 
the loss of a thousand men is rather an advantage to a 

? i 

1757] ^^^^ O^ WOLFK 89 

nation than otherwise, seing that gallant attempts raise its 
reputation and make it respectable ; whereas the contrary 
appearances sink the credit of a country, ruin the troops, 
and create infinite uneasiness and discontent at home." ^'^ 

As we have already pointed out Wolfe's letters contain 
no reference to his part in the Expedition, but in a letter 
to Captain Parr, he makes a nearer approach to an expres- 
sion of his own adlions and views than in any other which 
we have seen. He says : " I look upon the proceedings in 
the Bay of Biscay as flowing from natural causes, and 
could have told you in the Isle of Wight (what I actually 
did to some who were in the secret) either that we should 
attempt nothing, or execute ill what we did attempt. I 
will be open enough and vain enough to tell you that 
there might be a lucky moment to be seized for the public 
service, which I watched for; but it came too late, and 
there ended the reputation of three bad Generals. You 
must bum this insolent letter.'' 

Although Wolfe said very little about himself he became 
the subjeft of much conversation in military and political 
circles. The evidence given at the inquiry into the conduft 
of the Expedition brought out very plainly the faft that 
Wolfe's plans would in all human probability have resulted 
in a great national success had his superior officers, although 
too incapable to form them, been possessed of enough good 
sense and courage to carry them out. He himself was 
under examination, and his 'ready replies and wide know- 
ledge of military matters excited the attention of many to 

(i) This letter is given in fuH in the appendix, vol. VI. pp. 22 and 23. 


whom he was praAically unknown before. This faA is 
worth repetition because of the somewhat prevalent idea 
that Pitt selected Wolfe two years later for the Expedition 
against Quebec as one might buy a pig in a poke, as the 
Scottish expression has it. Even before the enquiry, Sir 
Edward Hawke spoke to Lord Anson in praise of Wolfe's 
admirable plans and good intentions which were not 
accepted, and Lord Anson took the trouble to mention the 
matter to the King. After the enquiry there were many 
who declared that Howe and Wolfe, had they been in com- 
mand, would have terminated the Rochefort affair with 
honour to themselves and to the nation. 



A FTER Wolfe landed at Portsmouth he reuiained for 
^^ sometime in the neighborhood of London, going 
afterwards to Blackheath and occupying his father's 
vacant house. 

On the first of December he was there feeling himself 
a prisoner, in a sense, as he had to remain within call for 
the general court martial of General Mordaunt. His 
reputation as a regimental disciplinarian was at this time 
quite established in the army, not only amongst private 
soldiers, who by the way admire the stridl, even severe, 
commander, provided he is just and knows his duty, but 
amongst his superior officers his name and work seem to 
have been frequently mentioned. In December he explained 
the nature of his discipline to the Prince of Wales, who 
was extremely desirous of receiving information upon 
such subje<5ls. Although he does not say so himself, it is 
safe to assume that his explanations were not given 
unsolicited, and further that the young colonel was 
regarded as an unusual officer to merit such notice. 

The campaigns of 1757 had now ended, and with less 
satisfa<5lion in America than at home. 


Wolfe characterized the officers in America quite as 
freely as those with whom he had to do. They too were 
" dilatory, ignorant, irresolute, and (had) some grains of a 
very unmanly quality, and very unsoldierlike or unsailor- 
ing like." <"> 

The Earl of Loudon, commander in chief of the forces 
in America, was a dismal failure. Fort William Henry 
was taken by the French, while Webb, instead of marching 
with his 4000 men to the relief of Monro, fell back upon 
hearing of Montcalm's approach and left Monro to his fate. 

Loudon was to co-operate with the Navy and reduce 
Louisbourg in order to command the approach to the St. 
Lawrence, through which Canada received her supplies. 

This was to be the principal operation in America, but 
it was nearly as bad as the Rochefort affair. 

With some 12,000 land forces and a strong fleet Loudon 
and Admiral Holbome set sail in August from Halifax to 
surprise Louisbourg, but learning that he was expe<fted by 
the French, Loudon abandoned the enterprise. Later in 
the year with the fleet strengthened by four additional 
men of war the British vessels again approached Louis- 
bourg, but as the French admiral kept his ships under 
cover of the land batteries instead of going out to meet the 
enemy, nothing was done. The British admiral hovered 
about the coast of Cap Breton until late in October when 
his fleet was scattered and broken by violent storms, and 
was obliged to return to England. 

(i) Letter to Rickson. Appendix Vol. VI, p 23. See also Sackville 
correspondence, Vol. VI. 

I758J tlFE OK WOLFE gi 

Mr. Pitt soon after recalled Loudon, and determined 
upon a more vigorous American policy. General Aber- 
crombie was made commander in chief of the forces in 
America, and Admiral Boscawen succeeded in the com- 
mand of the navy. 

Pittas chief plan for the year 1758 was the reduction of 
Louisbourg by, naturally, a united action on the part of 
the navy and the land forces. For the command of the 
latter he selected Colonel Amherst, whom he recalled from 
Germany and raised to the rank of Major General. 

Under him were three brigadiers, Whitmore, Lawrence 
and Wolfe. Whitmore and Lawrence were already in 
America, and Wolfe probably expressed a desire or a 
willingness to serve with the expeditionary army before 
Louisbourg. He said in a letter to Rickson on the 12**' of 
January : " Being of the profession of arms, I would seek 
all occasions to serve, and therefore have thrown myself 
in the way of the American war ; though I know that the 
very passage threatens my life, and that my constitution 
must be utterly ruined and undone, and this from no mo- 
tive either of avarice or ambition." His financial position 
was an unenviable one and his experience was enough to 
guarantee that he was not induced by motives of avarice 
to proffer his services. He was now obliged, after all his 
year of service, to borrow money from his father to fit him- 
self out. To his mother he says : " Upon recollection, it 
costs me dear to serve. ;^2oo the last affair; ;^5oo or 
;^6oonow ; and an employment that I am about to resign, ^'^ 

(i) On the 26th of January he resigned his Irish appointment. 


SO that if we should miscarry, my condition will be des- 
perate, and my finances exhausted. The ladies, too, will 
despise a beaten lover, so that every way I must be undone. 
And yet I run readily, heartily and cheerfully into the 
road of ruin. If my thoughts could be greatly diverted 
from their present objedl the youngest of your neighbours 
might rival my Lady Bath." 

This last reference seems to be to Miss Katherine Low- 
ther to whom he became engaged after his return from 
Louisbourg, and whose name appears in the first sentence 
of his will. 

Although Wolfe had interested himself greatly for the 
promotion of friends like Carleton and Rickson, and of 
others less intimate with him like Barr6 and Calcraft, he 
was always to be found in the place demanded of con- 
science. To his mother he wrote in the following terms 
in reply to her request that he should use his influence to 
procure a commission for one of her nephews : " You 
cannot doubt my readiness to oblige you in an 3' thing that 
is of immediate concern to yourself ; but you must not put 
upon me actions that I should blush to engage in, and that 
my uncle should blush to ask. I never can recommend 
any but a gentleman to serve with gentlemen. There is 
little prospect of a low dog's doing any shining a<ft. When 
such a thing does happen, a reward is due to merit, so 
unexpected courage alone is no sort of recommendation to 
put a private soldier upon the footing of an officer. I don't 

apprehend that Mr addresses himself to me, or 

that he has any just right to expeft that I should interest 
uiyHclf in behalf of an idle vagabond ; for such he must be. 

1758] UFK OF Wolfe 95 

by the expression of his letter. I will write a civil letter 
to my uncle, which may serve as an apology for the 
General and myself.'* 

Wolfe did not speak very graciously of his cousin, but 
we may assume that he really classed the young man 
amongst the " canaille ", whom in a previous letter to 
Captain Parr he had expressed a wish to exclude from the 
service so far as he could do so. His mother, apparently, 
rebuked him for his views or his manner of expressing 
them, and then conveyed the hope that he would not take 
offence at her remarks. He replied : " I take nothing ill 
from you, nor from any body, that is not meant as ill. 
What I said upon my uncle Tain's letter arises from the 
frankness of my temper. When I have good reasons I 
don't conceal them ". 

On the 7*^ of February, he wrote a long letter to Lord 
George Sackville in which he makes observations concern- 
ing military matters generally. In fa(5l it is so didactic in 
form as to force upon the reader the conviction that Wolfe 
and his old colonel were on terms of intimacy, and that 
Wolfe felt sure of his position. The letter is too long to 
reproduce here, but a quotation or two may be useful as 
illustrating features of his character : " If I had any 
constitution to spare, I should certainly desire to succeed 
Monsieur de Vaudreuil in the government of Canada ; 
but I can't trust to it". . . 

" The condition of the troops that compose this garrison 
(or rather, vagabonds that stroll about in dirty red clothes 
from one gin shop to another) exceeds all belief. There 
is not the least shadow of discipline, care, or attention. 


Disorderly soldiers of different regiments are collected 
here ; some from the ships, others from the hospital, some 
waiting to embark, — dirty, drunken, insolent rascals, 
improved by the hellish nature of the place, where every 
kind of corruption, immorality and looseness is carried to 

" He (Captain Rickson) wishes to be confirmed in his 
office by commission, as usual, and as it ought to have 
been long ago, if, as (I believe) some bye-views and artifices 
had not prevented it. That employment ^'^ has usually 
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel annexed to it, which 
Rickson may pretend to in point of merit with almost 
any man in the service. Your Lordship, I think, is 
persuaded that I never did, nor ever will, undertake to 
establish any man in your good opinion but from a 
thorough conviction that he deserves your esteem.".... 
" Barr6, who knows Whitmore better than anybody, 
assures me that he has no health nor constitution for such 
business as we are going upon ; he never was a soldier, 
but otherwise, a very worthy gentleman. I pray you 
beware how you employ him near the top ; this prevented, 
we may jog on tolerably." 

He continues with a strong recommendation of a lieu- 
tenant of foot, Cheshire by name, " a modest, sensible, 
manly young officer." " He seems to understand the war 
in America well, and speaks of it judiciously. Alas ! 
there are but few such men, and those too often neglected." 

Although Wolfe despised the soldiery in garrison where 

(i) He was adting as deputy quartermaster-general of Scotland. 

175^1 ^i^^ o^ woLF^ 97 

their lack of morals shocked and disg^isted him, he always 
gave them credit for their valour in the field. 

With the officers it was quite a different matter. He 
seems to have liked them as men, but despised them as 
soldiers. However, his future associates were of the better 
class of officers. Amherst whom we have already men- 
tioned deserves rather more credit than historians are 
willing to give him. His services in 1759 not only lacked 
the brilliancy of his career in Germany, but dimmed his 
reputation. He is overshadowed by Wolfe, but notwith- 
standing his dilatory policy when Wolfe was anxiously 
awaiting him under the walls of Quebec he was really an 
able officer. 

At any rate, he could safely be expeAed not to repeat 
Loudon's tactics before Louisbourg, especially when aided 
by Admiral Boscawen instead of Holborne. 

Amherst was not ready to leave England with the 
squadron, but he followed on the " Dublin " and as he 
approached the harbour at Halifax, on the 28^^ of May, 
the fleet consisting of twenty-three ships of the line and 
eighteen frigates, one hundred and fifty-seven sail including 
the transports, was sailing out. Amherst at once assumed 
command of the land forces which till his arrival had been 
under the command of the Admiral. On the second of 
June a part of the fleet anchored in Gabarus Bay, about 
three leagues from Louisbourg and at the south-west of it. 
Despite the fact that a heavy swell rolled in from the sea 
and made all efforts to reconnoitre both difficult and 
dangerous, Amherst, Lawrence and Wolfe ventured to 
reconnoitre the shore in the evening. They discovered 


that the " enemy had a chain of posts along the shore 
from Cape Noir to Flat Point and irregulars from thence 
to the bottom of the bay with works and batteries at all 
places where it was probable or praAicable for any troops 
to land." ^'> 

The plan of adlion which resulted from the observations 
of the Commander in chief and his Brigadiers was set forth 
in the following orders which were published from on board 
the Namur, the Admiral's ship ; 

"June 3, 1758. 

" The army is to land and attack the French in three 
" different bodies, and at three different places. All the 
" grenadiers and detachments of the right wing land upon 
" the right, in the bay, within the White Point. The 
" detachments of the left wing land in two little bays, 
" about a mile and an half to the left of the White Point. 
" The light infantry, irregulars, and Highlanders are to 
" land in the fresh water Cove, in order to take the enemy 
" in flank and rear, and cut some of them off from the 
" town. Men of war are ordered to each of these places, 
" to scour the coast, and proteft the troops at their landing. 
" The grenadiers are to be drawn up, as they lie in their 

(i) An Authentic Account of the Redudtion of Louisbourg, In June 
and July 1758. by a Spectator. London, 1758. This account was given 
by a writer who " though present the whole time, neither was himself 
an Actor in any Thing he relates, nor under any Influence from Depen- 
dence or Connexion with those that were. And the Authenticity of the 
Whole may be as far relied on, as it is possible to credit the concurrent 
Accounts of several Gentlemen, who were present at its different Parts, 
and related them regularly as they were transacted." This Account is 
pretty closely followed here, in comparison with others less detailed. 

1758] Lll^lt 01* WOLFE 9^ 

" brigades, upon the right of the right attack, and to 
'' rendezvous in a line behind a boat with a red flag, in 
" which Brigadier Wolfe will be. The detachments of the 
" right wing are to assemble in a line, as they are in their 
" brigades, behind a boat with a white flag, where Brigadier 
" Whitmore will be. The detachments of the left wing 
'' are to rendezvous in the same manner, behind a boat 
" with a blue flag, where Brigadier-General Lawrence will 
" command. The Highlanders, light infantry, and irreg- 
" ulars are to rendezvous to the right of the island, lying 
" before the fresh water Cove, and to be ready to row into 
" the Cove, when the signal is given ; the signal to row on 
" shore will be three guns from the Sutherland, repeated 
" by the Admiral. Although the Highlanders, light 
" infantry, and irregulars are a separate attack upon the 
" left, yet, when they land, they are to consider themselves 
" as a part of the left wing, and immediately under the 
" command of Brigadier-General Lawrence. 

" Field-Officers for the right attack, for the grenadiers, 
" Colonel Murray, Lieutenant-Colonel Fletcher, Majors 
" Farquar and Murray. 

" Detachment of the right wing, Colonel Burton, Colo- 
" nel Foster, Majors Prevost and Derby. 

" Field-Officers of the center attack, or detachments of 
" the left wing. Colonel Wilmott, Lieutenant - Colonel 
" Handfleld, Majors Hamilton and Hussey. 

" All the remaining Field-Officers of the army are to 
" come on shore with the second disembarkation ; as 
" Bragg's regiment is to be detached for a particular duty, 
" they are not to furnish grenadiers for the right attack. 

too THE SIEGE of QUEBEC [i758 

" and the whole Highland regiment is to be employed, 
" with the light infantry and irregulars, upon the left. 

" Captain Amherst and Captain D'Arcy are appointed 
" to a<5l as Aids - de - Camp to Major -General Amherst. 
" Lieutenant Tonge, of General Warburton's regiment, is 
" to attend (as Engineer) on the Deputy Quarter-Master- 
" General, on the landing of the troops. Colonel Fraser's 
" company of grenadiers, in the Princess Amelia's boat, 
" will row to join their own regiment. 

" The signal to prepare to land : — A red flag, with a 

blue cross at the foretopmast-head of the Sutherland, 

and to be repeated by the Namur." 


" Namur, June 4. 

" As the surf is so great, that the disposition for landing 
" in three divisions cannot take place, and as the men of 
" war cannot be carried near enough to the shore of the 
" bay within the White Point, to cover the landing there : 
" the General (not to lose a moment's time) has thought 
" proper to order, that an attack be made upon the little 
" entrenchments within the fresh water Cove, with four 
" companies of grenadiers, followed by the light infantry 
" and irregulars, who are to be supported by the Highland 
" regiment, and those by the remaining eight companies 
" of grenadiers, that no body of men, regular or irregular, 
" may dare to stand a moment before them : these detach- 
" ments are to be commanded by Brigadier-General Wolfe. 
" The detachments of the left wing, under Brigadier- 
" General Lawrence, are to draw up, as was before ordered, 
" behind the frigates of the center attack, in readiness, if 


" the weather permits, to run ashore upon the opposite 
" beach ; of, if not, to follow the grenadiers, when it is 
" judged necessary. The right wing to draw up to the 
" right, as in the orders of yesterday, opposite to the bay, 
" that is, on this side of the White Point, to fix the 
" enemy's attention, or to follow the troops of the left 
*' wing, when they shall receive orders for that purpose. 
" The boats of this division are to keep out at a mile and 
" an half, or two miles' distance from the land, extending 
" in a considerable length of line. 

" As the grenadiers will now assemble towards the left 
" instead of the right, the Captains must be attentive to 
" the red flag in Brigadier Wolfe's boat, which is to be the 
" center of their line, and range themselves accordingly. 
" The detachments of the right wing must have the same 
" attention to Brigadier-General Whitmore's flag, and 
" those of the left wing to Brigadier Lawrence's flag, and 
" the whole to assemble at their different posts, immedia- 
" tely after the signal is made to prepare to land. The 
" four oldest companies of grenadiers are to attack first ; 
" the Royal and Forbes's, under the command of Lieuten- 
" ant-Colonel Fletcher, in the little bay upon the right ; 
" Amherst's and Whitmore's, under the command of 
" Major Murray, in another little bay upon the left. The 
" Field-Officers and Captains of these four companies of 
" grenadiers will receive their particular instru6lions from 
" Brigadier Wolfe. After the grenadiers are landed, and 
" have taken post along the intrenchment, the light 
" infantry are to land, push forward into the wood, and 
" force the enemy's irregulars to retire." 


" June 6, twelve o'clock. 

" The troops are to return on board their transports, as 
" the surf on the shore is so great, that the Admiral thinks 
" they cannot be disembarked with any kind of safety." 

" Namur, June 7. 

" If the surf should be so great, that the troops cannot 
" land this afternoon, the General intends to attack the 
" enemy to-morrow at the dawn of day, unless the weather 
" is so bad as to make it imprafticable. The boats are to 
" assemble in three divisions as before ; the right wing at 
" the Violet transport, where there will be three lights 
" hung on the off side, near the water's edge; the left wing 
" at the St. George transport, with two lights hung in the 
" same manner ; and the rendez-vous of the grenadiers, 
" &c, will be at the Neptune transport, where a single 
** light will be hung out. As the General's intentions are 
" to surprise the enemy, as well as attack them, he depends 
" upon the care and vigilancce of the Officers commanding 
" in the transports, that his orders be striAly complied 
" with. 

" The troops are to be in their boats by two o'clock 
" exaAly. No lights are to be shewn in any of the trans- 
" ports, except the signals above-mentioned, after twelve 
" o'clock at night, and there must be a profound silence 
" throughout the whole army, and, above all things, the 
" firing of even a single musket must be avoided. The 
" men of war's boats will be sent to their respe<5live tran- 
" sports, by one in the morning. 

1758] LIFE OF WOLFE I03 

" The General is sufficiently convinced of the good dis- 
" position of the troops, by what he was already seen ; he 
** desires they will not halloo, or cry out at landing, but 
" be attentive to the commands of their Officers, by which 
" they can never be put into any confusion, or fail of suc- 
" cess ; their Officers will lead them diredlly to the enemy. 

" If the Admiral and General should think proper to 
" alarm the enemy in the beginning of the night, the 
" troops are to take no manner of notice of it, but prepare 
" themselves to obey their order, with great exa6lness, at 
" the appointed time, and so as to be ready to row off, from 
" the three places of rendez-vous, a little before day-light." 

It will be seen that a disposition was first made for 
landing in three different places, but on the 4^^ of June it 
was noticed that there was much less surf in one of the 
coves than at other points, and in consequence the plans 
were altered with the intention of landing at that place 
alone. However, for nearly a week thick fogs, storms and 
gales rendered all attempts to laud impracticable. The 
Trent frigate struck on a rock and unshipped her rudder 
and was with difficulty got off. The transports which had 
been brought as near the shore as practicable for conven- 
ience of landing suffered severely in their cables and 
anchors, and were in constant danger of being driven 
upon the rocky coast. The troops after being transferred 
to boats and tossed about by the sea for some hours were 
returned to the transports on the report of the Captains of 
the fleet who judged that the surf was too high for a 
landing. In the meantime the French who had long been 


expecting an attack redoubled their efforts to strengthen 
their position, already rendered so strong by nature and 
by military skill, and kept iip a cannonade against any 
part of the British fleet that seemed within range. 

The British frigates almost daily fired at parties of the 
enemy who ventured near the shore. On the 7^ of June 
the weather became more favorable and the sea was less 
boisterous. Arrangements were made for a landing on 
the following morning in three divisions. 

Previous to the landing the Sutherland and several other 
frigates were stationed near the shore to cover the approach 
of the boats. At about four o'clock in the morning one 
division of boats under the command of Brigadier General 
Wolfe attempted to land at the left of Kenning^on Cove 
with 600 light infantry, the whole battalion of Highlanders, 
and four companies of Grenadiers. At the same time a 
feint of landing was made at the right towards White 
Point by Brigadier General Whitmore, and another in the 
centre by Brigadier General Lawrence at Fresh Water 
Cove. The left wing found the shore at Kenning^on Cove 
impregnable and was obliged to withdraw after some loss. 
The British now discovered how strong the position of the 
French had been made in anticipation of such an attack. 

Some three thousand reg^ilars, irreg^ilars and Indians 
were posted along the shore at all the probable places of 
landing, behind breastworks which were fortified at proper 
intervals with cannon and swivels. They had erected 
redans mounted with cannon to prevent flanking move- 
ments, while all the approaches to the front lines were 
protected by fallen trees whose tops pointed to the shore 

/ y 

-/y /^ y y >' 

A. i ■' • ' I 

/*/;////, ,/.^ 'OuifAf.^f fJu ,'/i,fu:4i/ I/I f4i\ Al'.yi/ *//rii/xJ . \ nitc, ^'^fi ^(^/n//t*ft 

1758] LIFE OF WOLFE I05 

and whose branches were so interlaced as to make it well 
nigh impossible for men to pass through even when 
unopposed by cannon and musket. 

This defence was so inconspicuous that from a distance 
the prostrate trees had the appearance of a continuous 
green, and the guns which they concealed could not be 
observed at a distance greater than their effeAive range. 

Although the British frigates had fired upon these parts 
to clear a way for the landing of the boats, and Admiral 
Durell had reconnoitred the shore within easy range, the 
French withheld their fire for the purpose of retaining 
their concealment until such a time as it would be effeAive. 
However, as the boats under command of Wolfe approached 
the shore the French began to play their batteries, to fire 
red hot balls, and to employ their small arms. 

This premature action on their part was fatal to their 
projeA, for the British did not eflFeA a landing at all. Had 
they been allowed to disembark their troops upon the 
narrow beach few could have escaped alive. Seeing the 
strength of the enemy they hastily drew off towards the 
centre, determined to land wherever there was any fighting 
chance of success. Shortly after this repulse Lieutenants 
Browne and Hopkins with Ensign Grant and about one 
hundred of the light infantry gained the shore at the right 
of the cove. 

Wolfe then ordered the rest of his division to push on 
as rapidly as possible to the shore. Although they were 
exposed to the fire of a battery of three guns which a part 
of the time raked and a part of the time flanked the boats, 
and to the fire at short range of small arms, they were all 


soon landed with little loss, excepting that twenty two 
grenadiers were drowned through the staving and upsetting 
of their boats in the surf. 

" Among the foremost of these parties was Brigadier 
Wolfe who jumped out of his boat into the surf to get to 
the shore, and was readily followed by numbers of the 
troops, amidst a most obstinate fire of the enemy." 

All the men emulated the valorous conduA of their 
young leader, and springing into the water waist deep 
rushed ashore and formed in good order. Although the 
roughness of the sea caused the death of many a brave 
soldier it was on the whole a fortunate circumstance. An 
eye witness, says, " I believe we benefited by it in a very 
eminent degree, for when the boats were lifted up by the 
violence of the swell to a considerable height, the enemy's 
shot, which would probably have done execution, had we 
been upon even water, passed under us ; and in like manner 
some flew over us, in our quick transition from high to 
low ; this is the only reason that I can assign for our not 
losing more men by the enemy's fire." Brigadiers Law- 
rence and Whitmore followed soon after with the troops 
under their comniand, and the Major-General came in the 
rear fully satisfied with the spirit and the resolution of his 
troops and with the gallantry of his officers. 

The difficulty of this landing is set forth by a spectator 
in these terms : " It would be an injurious Diminution of 
the Glory of our landing Parties acquired in this hazardous 
enterprize, not to remark particularly the Difficulties they 
had to surmount. Such a boisterous Surf drove on most 
Parts of the Shore at that time as stove a great number of 

1758] LIFE OF WOLFK 107 

their Boats, by which several of the men were so much 
hurt and bruised, as to be very incapable of helping and 
taking care of themselves, and some others were crushed 
to pieces between the boats and the rocks. Most, if not all 
of those who did land, were obliged to wade through the 
Great Swell, themselves and their Arms much wetted ; 
and after that, to scramble up such rugged Rocks and 
almost perpendicular Precipices as to the wary Enemy^s 
Engineers seemed in need of no Fortification or Defence, 
their own steep, rough ascent having been judged beyond 
the attempt of men under Arms before this glorious morn- 
ing. And to complete the discouraging Scene, they were 
all the while exposed to the utmost Fury of the Enemy's 
Fire, and not in a situation of exerting themselves in any 
Kind of Defence except by terrifying the astonished Foe 
with the resolute Bravery of gaining what had till now 
been thought an inaccessible Shore, and landing in the 
most unexpedled, one who had not the strongest Proofs of 
the Fadl might say, incredible Places." 

As soon as the landing was effected the British attacked 
the nearest battery to them with great vigor, and soon 
forced the enemy to retreat therefrom with precipitation. 
An attack was then made upon the lines, but practically 
no resistance was offered. The French fearing that they 
would be cut off from the garrison by Whitmore's troops 
who had landed on the right, fled to the nearest cover 
and thence to Louisbourg. 

An eye witness of the event again says : — " The enemy 
fled with great precipitation, and Brigadier Wolfe pursued 
them almost to the gates of the town, with the light 


infantry, rangers, Fraser*s Highlanders, and the grena- 
diers of the i«^, 15***, 17*** and 22"^ regiments. I can only 
acconnt for the nnsoldier-like behaviour of the enemy on 
this occasion, by their apprehensions, perhaps, of being 
cnt off from the garrison by some or other of the divisions, 
whom (sic) they suspected would land elsewhere for that 
purpose; and of being thereby hemmed in between two 


And although another writer, " A Spedlator," speaks of 
the " dastardly panic that appeared to slacken the Enemy's 
Fire as soon as they saw our men landed," he says further 
that only three hundred men were left that morning in 
the garrison, which would surely have fallen into the 
hands of the British without delay had the retreat of the 
enemy been cut off. 

This unexpeAed and signal success gave the British 
possession of the shore all the way to Louisbourg, and 
deprived the French of their strongest hope of successful 

Had they fought as wisely and as stubbornly as did 
their compatriots in somewhat similar circumstances under 
Montcalm at Ticonderoga, the taking of Louisbourg would 
have been deferred. But in this case the leader was not 
an Abercrombie with nothing to commend him but his 
tenacity and courage, but Wolfe, not less courageous, 
more impetuous, and an infinitely better strategist 

It is interesting, however, to notice that although his 
contemporaries as well as posterity give Wolfe full credit 
for the success of the operations on the 8*^ of June he him- 
self depreciates the attempt, and instead of claiming honour 

1 75^1 I'"*'K OK WOLFK 109 

as he could easily have done, he frankly criticises the whole 
aAion. To his friend Rickson, he says : — " Amongst 
ourselves, be it said, that our attempt to land where we did 
was rash and injudicious, our success unexpe<5led (by me) 
and undeserved. There was no prodigious exertion of 
courage in the affair ; an ofl&cer and thirty men would 
have made it impossible to get ashore where we did. Our 
proceedings in other respedls were as slow and tedious as 
this undertaking was ill advised and desperate; but this 
for your private information only. We lost time at the 
siege, still more after the siege, and blundered from the 
beginning to the end of the campaign. ^'^ 

The success of the British, unexpe<5led by Wolfe, was 
also a matter of surprise to his future distinguished foe. 

On the 26*'* of June the following record was made in 
MonicaMs JonrnaL " News from Louisbourg ; it is 
besieged ; landing made at Gabarus on the 8^^*, fatal day to 
the state (these are the terms of M. Franquet in a letter he 
has written to me). How could this landing be made 
without resistance on our part with sixty to sixty six 
barges only, which would make three thousand five hun- 
dred men at most, a barge not holding more than fifty ". 
Referring to a sketch, he proceeds, " Why did not the troops 
whose duty it was to defend the entrenchments at this 
point, march, after the first discharge of artillery and 
musketry, with bayonets fixed, upon the English whom 
they ought to have destroyed ? Why did not those of the 

(i) This letter is given in full in Vol. VI., page 27. See also the 
reproduction of a part of it amongst the illustrations of this work. 


Other entrenchments advance also ? The misunderstanding 
between the two divisions, and the cupidity of M. Provost, 
who controls M. de Drucour, will lose Louisbourg to the 
King. I say the cupidity of M. Pr6vost for this reason ; 
The King's storehouses are behind one of the points of 
attack ; nearly all the goods will then be carried to the 
shops of individuals ; the place will be surrendered sooner 
in order to secure by capitulation that the inhabitants 
retain their goods which they may send back to France, 
or sell to the besiegers. 

At the time of the surrender, the Conmiissary makes 
an inventory only of what is to be found in the recognized 
stores of the King, and does not mention the goods scat- 
tered through the city, which turn to his profit. This is 

what M. B did in 1745 ; he induced the inhabitants 

to petition the commandant to surrender, which the com- 
mandant did in consequence, under the pretext that he 
could not restrain the rebellious inhabitants with so muti- 
nous a garrison. M. Provost, a pupil of M. Bigot, follows 
in the footsteps of his master." 

Although history and experience combined to justify 
Montcalm in his suspicions, the perfidy which he feared 
was imaginary in this case ; but his question as to why no 
resistance was made has not been satisfaAorily answered. 

The brigades of Wolfe and Lawrence pursued the fleeing 
enemy for about four miles, until the fugitives were safe 
within the walls of Louisbourg. Then a fierce cannonade 
was opened upon the besiegers from the garrison, which 
General Amherst declared " was so far of use, that it 
pointed out how near I might encamp to invest it." The 

1758] UFH OF WOLFE lit 

enemy left behind in their flight a large quantity of pro- 
visions and ammunition, seventeen pieces of cannon, four- 
teen large swivels and two mortars. A furnace for red hot 
balls was left standing, and about seventy prisoners were 

These prisoners declared that the chief difficulty in the 
reduftion of Louisbourg was over; that their engineers 
had assured the Governor of Louisbourg that it was 
impossible for almost any number of men to land at the 
place where the landing had adlually been made. They 
spoke of the light infantry, Highlanders, and rangers ^'^ as 
the English Savages. 

Sir Charles Hardy who had been cruising along the 

(i) As the light infantry and the rangers are frequently mentioned in 
the subse<^uent pages it many be well to reproduce here a description of 
them as given in the ** Authentic Account **, by a Spe<5lator. 

** These Li^hi Infantry were a Corps of 55;© Volunteers chosen as 
marksmen out of the most a<flive resolute men from all the Battalions of 
Regulars, dressed some in blue some in green Jackets and Drawers, for 
the easier brushing through the Woods ; with Ruffs of Black Bear*s 
Skin round their necks, the Beard of their upper Lips, some grown into 
Whiskers, others not so, but all well smutted in that part ; with little 
round Hats like several of our Seamen. — Their Arms were a Fusil, 
Cartouche Box of Balls and Flints, and a Powder horn flung over their 
Shoulders. The Rangers are a body of Irregulars, who have a more cut- 
throat, savage Appearance ; which carries in it something of natural 
Savages ; the Appearance of the Light Infantry has more in it of Artificial 
Savages. * * 

In the general orders dated Halifax, May the 12th, 1758, the following 
appears : •* A body of light infantry will be formed from the different 
corps, to act as irregulars ; the regiments, that have been any time in 
America, are to furnish such as have been most accustomed to the woods, 
and are good marksmen ; and those from Europe are to furnish active 
marchers, and men that are expert at flring ball ; and all in general 
must be alert, spirited soldiers, able to endure fatigue. Some corps are 
to give a Lieutenant and forty men, others a Lieutenant and thirty men, 
except the Highlanders, who are to furnish one hundred.** 

coast from the beginning of April with his squadron 
joined Admiral Boscawen in Gabarus Bay on the day of 
the landing. His men were in a sad state. They were 
suffering from scurvy, and were obliged to receive assist- 
ance to bring their vessels to anchor in the bay. They 
recovered rapidly when put ashore for a few days. 

Notwithstanding the vigilance of Sir Charles, French 
vessels had passed him in fog, snowstorms and darkness, 
and had stolen unperceived into Louisbourg harbor, where 
five or six large ships of the line, besides about an equal 
number of frigates, eleven in all, now lay. 

It became the duty of Sir Charles to block the entrance 
to the harbor in order, by giving timely warning to the 
Admiral, to prevent the escape of the enemy's ships. 

The chances were entirely in favor of the besiegers, as 
both parties to the confliA recognized as soon as the preli- 
minary difficulty of landing had been over come. Naturally, 
the French were anxious to save their ships from falling 
into the hands of the enemy, and would undoubtedly have 
taken advantage of the first fair wind and dark night to 
put to sea. In fact, later in the progress of the siege, 
June 1 8^^, the frigate L'Echo, thirty-two guns, bound to 
Quebec with stores and provisions, took advantage of a 
brisk gale that had blown Sir Charles out to sea, and 
started for the St. Lawrence. She succeeded, the night 
being dark and foggy, in passing safely by the British 
fleet ; but being pursued, she was captured and brought 
back a day or two later. 

The frigate L^Arethuse, thirty-six g^ns, not discouraged 
by the fate of I/'Echo, took her chances on the 15^^ of 

I758J tlJh'^ OF WOLFli 115 

July when similar conditions as to weather prevailed. 
She escaped the vigilance of the British fleet, but being 
perceived by the land forces at Lighthouse battery who 
signaled Sir Charles, she was pursued by several vessels. 
After a day or two they returned with the report that the 
fleeing vessel had escaped them. 

The rest of the troops on the day following the landing, 
were brought ashore, and for several days after that the 
baggage, artillery and stores were landed with great diflfi- 
culty and with many interruptions, owing to the roughness 
of the sea. In spite of the best efforts of the seamen many 
boats swamped, and many were stove by driving upon the 
rocky shore. 

At the same time the troops were employed in cleaning 
the camp ground, carrying baggage, pitching tents, making 
themselves secure against incursions that might be ex- 
pe(5led from parties of Indians and Canadians, or from any 
parties that might have been cut off from the garrison on 
the day of the landing. 

For many days in succession the daily chronicler of 
events has nothing to report but the continuous making 
of roads across the morasses, the eredlion of redoubts, the 
placing of batteries, and the construction of approaches 
towards the gates of the garrison. 

An " epaulement," a work for covering the approaches 

to the town by the Green Hill, was begun about the 23^* 

of June and continued till completed amidst many diflfi- 

culties. It was about a quarter of a mile long, about nine 

feet high, and about sixteen feet broad. The working 

parties labored cheerfully, and excited the admiration of 

114 ^^"^ SIEGE OF QUEBEC [1758 

their officers by their valorous exertions and by their con- 
tempt for the danger to which they were subjeA by reason 
of the cannonade which was direAed against them and 
from which they suffered some loss. On this occasion, 
very noticeable as being one of the first, the army and 
navy worked together with a harmony and a union of 
purpose that were productive of the best result, and that 
showed that the term " united service " is suggestive of an 
ideal state of affairs. This new departure in the way of 
co-operation is to be attributed mainly to the faA that the 
Admiral and the Commander in chief were too large in 
their conceptions of duty to let petty considerations of 
etiquette or precedence interfere with their actions. 
Between them there was no jealousy or friction. 

The Admiral, when occasion required, sent ashore at 
different times 400 marines, or troops who were serving 
as such, to assist in the work of the batteries. 

They were a great relief to the army in the camp, who 
were much fatigued by their long hours and hard work. 

In order that we may not lose sight of the fact that this 
sketch is for the purpose, primarily, of giving the reader 
an account of the actions of Wolfe, and secondarily a 
general view of the siege which made his reputation, we 
may here dwell more upon his operations. 

Not only did he lead the landing party as we have seen, 
but he was active in all the proceedings which followed. 

On the 12^^ of June the French having dismantled the 
Grand Battery and called in their outposts, Wolfe was 
sent to take possession of the Lighthouse Battery with 
four companies of Grenadiers under command of Lieu- 

175^] ^^^^ OF wolkP. 115 

teuant-Colonel Hale, and twelve hundred men detached 
from the line. He found this battery deserted by the 
enemy who had left only two cannon, with their trunnions 
knocked off, and three eight pounders, two of which they 
had spiked. Artillery, tools and stores were sent around 
to him by sea. Upon his arrival at the Lighthouse he 
sent a paper to the Commander in chief which outlined 
his preliminary dispositions. However, until the 18^ of 
the month he was unable to make progress owing to the 
stormy weather. 

On that day he issued his orders, and was ready to 
cannonade and bombard the fleet and the Island Battery 
on the following evening. 

On the 19^^ he wrote a letter to his chief from which we 
make extra<5ls : — " My posts are now so fortified that I can 
afford you the two companies of Yankees, and the more 
as they are better for ranging and scouting than either 
work or vigilance. My whole affair now is the spade and 
pickaxe and one hundred more pioneers would be of great 

assistance " " The excess of rum is bad, but that 

liquor delivered out in small quantities — half a gill a man, 
and mixed with water — is a most salutary drink, and the 
cheapest pay for work that can be given. Mr. Boscawen is 
a very judicious man, but in this particular he is much in 
the wrong ; and it proceeds from his confounding the 
abuse with the use, and sailors with soldiers." On the 
following day he wrote again to his chief, and with his 
letter he enclosed a report from a lieutenant in regard to 
the drunkenness of some rangers who were with his party. 

They were attacked by the enemy, and some who were 


killed had New England rum in their pockets. Wolfe 
says : — " I send you an account of the behaviour of my 
party at L'Orembeck — I mean the subaltern's — ^which, I 
believe, will surprise you. They were, as far as I can find, 
all drunk and asleep, — sentries, guards, and all. The 
rum was sold to them by the masters of the ships they 
went in, whose names you shall have, and who should be 
made an example of." 

Wolfe's chief object at I/ighthouse Point was to silence 
the Island Battery which protected the entrance to Louis, 
bourg harbor. This he accomplished upon the 25*^ of the 
month by incessant fire. 

Leaving a small detachment of artillery behind him to 
hold the place, he returned to the grand camp to super- 
intend the formation of an approach to the West Gate of 

On the 26*^ the British troops took possession of Green 
Hill, in the night, without any great opposition and with 
very little loss. 

Now that the battery on the Island was disabled, and it 
was impossible to restore it while the detachment at Light- 
house Point was throwing an occasional shell upon it, the 
French feared for the security of their fleet within the 
harbor. They therefore sank four men of war and four 
merchant-men in the narrow entrance, so that if the British 
should attempt to force the harbor they could bring in but 
one ship at a time. On the 30"* of June " A Specftator " 
records the following : 

" A very brisk Fire from the Ships and Garrison was 
made upon our working Parties. Some Shells were thrown 


from the Battery at Maurepas Pointy and from the Island 
upon the Parties at the Light-Iwuse — In the Night these 
Parties worked very briskly in drawing Cannon from the 
Light'lwuse^ about the Distance of two Miles^ over uneven 
Ground never smoothed into a Road, to their new Batteries 
near the Grand Battery to play upon the Frigates and the 
rest of the ShtpSy and to remove them once more, if possi- 
ble ; That the Grand Camp might carry on their Approa- 
ches with the greater Security and more Expedition. Some 
People of the Garrison, to express their Surprize at this 
and some other Instances of the Suddenness of Brigadier 
Wolje^s Motions from one Place to another, and their 
Sentiments of the Effedl of his Operations, used to say — 
There is no Certaintly where to find him — but, wherever 
he goes, he carries with him a Mortar in one Pocket and a 
24 pounder in the other." 

On the first of July a party of about four hundred stole 
quietly out from the walls of Louisbourg. 

Wolfe with one hundred of the light infantry and three 
hundred, regulars sallied forth and in about a quarter of 
an hour fell in with the enemy. 

A brisk skirmish ensued, lasting about two hours, and 
resulting in a retreat of the French in good order from 
hill to hill with the British in pursuit. The latter held 
their fire, until they came near. Then their fire was so 
hot that the enemy beat a precipitate retreat within the 
walls. By this affair the British lost only six or eight 
men, wounded, while Brigadier Wolfe, having advanced 
farther, than ever before, never quitted the ground he had 
thus gained. He had a redoubt thrown up at once to 


maintain the farthest point, and in spite of a brisk can- 
nonading from the garrison and the ships he advanced a 
redan within fonr hundred yards of the enemy's pickets. 
This new position greatly facilitated the approaches from 
the grand camp to the walls of Louisbourg. In these 
sktrmtsheSy as seen by Wolfe's orders and correspondence, 
the j^ung brigadier adapted himself quickly to the style 
of warfare required by the nature of the country. He 
taught his men to seek cover when exposed to the enemy's 
fire. At the same time he did not go to the extreme of 
thinking that cover was the only consideration. Through- 
out his history he showed an admirable combination of 
pnideuce and courage. 

After one of the many skirmishes in which he was 
engaged at this time several of the officers expressed sur- 
prise at the agility of his men and the novelty of the 
tactics. " Wolfe asked one more intelligent than the rest 
what he thought of it * I think I see something here of 
the history of the Carduchi,' who harassed Xenophon, and 
hung upon his rear in his retreat over the mountains,' 
was the reply. * You are right,' said Wolfe, " I had it 
thence; but our friends are astonished at what I have 
shown them because they have read nothing." ^*^ 

(i) Fitmi Wright, who credits the anecdote to Major James, R.A., in 
liuitarx* Dictionary, Article, ** Library'.*' Wright *s invaluable •* Life of 
Major -General James Wolfe, ** Chapman and Hall, London, 1864, is the 
fttUcst and best biography of that general that has ever been published. 
TIm authors arc indebted to it espcciall}* for extracts from correspond- 
caoe. Si>nie most im|>ortant letters of Wolfe have been discovered since 
1:964. but Wright succeeded in procuring nearly all that were known to 
czisi at tiK time 


One of the most serious skirmishes was that of the 
night of July 8, when " the Enemy made a vigorous Sally 
from Cape Noir about 1 1 o^clock upon our advanced and 
working Parties at the Lines, where Brigadier Laurence 
commanded. The Salliers with a Body of about 900 Men, 
by the Darkness of the Night and the Silence of their 
Motions, were fortunate enough to pass unobserved by 
some of our advanced Parties commanded by Lord Dun- 
donaly and to surprize the working Parties in the Trenches ; 
who with some Diflficulty retreated, as they had not their 
Arms to defend themselves." 

An instance, only one of many which might be given, 
of the personal bravery of Wolfe and of his willingness 
not only to go where his men were ordered but to precede 
them, is given in the following words : " About 7 o'clock 
this evening. Brigadier Wolfe made himself master of a 
Post occupied by the Enemy's Picquets within about 400 
yards of the West Gate^ where about 100 of their Volunteers 
had secured themselves behind some small Breast-works 
of Sand Bags — He advanced towards this Post with only 
8 or 10 men, leaving orders for a sustaining Party to 
follow him from the Green-hilL Upon his approaching the 
Enemy, they fired some few muskets at him." 

On the 21'* a disaster befel the French which added to 
their discouragement. An explosion occurred on board the 
man of war, " le C61&bre ", 64 guns, caused it was supposed 
by a shell from the lighthouse battery. 

The fire which ensued burned with great violence and 
spread to " L'Entreprenant," 74 guns, and from her to 
" Le Capricieux," 64 guns. 


On the latter there was no explosion, for the seamen 
threw overboard all the powder before taking to boats to 
save themselves. When the fire reached the g^ns they 
were discharged indiscriminately, a more serious danger to 
friend than to foe. " Le Prudent " and " Le Bienfaisant," 
the only two men of war left, warped off to the other end 
of the harbor to escape destruAion. 

The besiegers were so near the walls on the 24^^ that 
their small arms were fired through the embrasures of 
the ramparts and drove the gunners from their stations. 
Deserters reported that the inhabitants of the town were 
so much distressed that they entreated the Governor, on 
their knees, to capitulate without delay. They entreated 
in vain, however. The story, whether true or overdrawn, 
served to stimulate the besiegers who expeAed to gain 
much reputation to close their campaign. 

On the 25*^ an aA requiring unusual courage and address 
was undertaken by the fleet. 

The admiral determined to destroy or to take the two 
French ships remaining in the harbor. 

Six hundred sailors favored by a dark night and com- 
manded by Captains Balfour and Laforey boarded " Le 
Bienfaisant and " Le Prudent " with little difficulty. The 
former vessel was towed away, while the other being 
aground was burned. The gallantry of his adlion is much 
praised by " A Spectator," who relates the incidents with 
much detail. The garrison was now in a very bad condition. 
For eight days officers and men had been without rest and 
every day they saw the nearer approach of the enemy while 
their own defence grew more and more feeble. 

1758] LIFE OF WOLFE 121 

Not a spot within the walls was safe even for the sick or 
wounded. Ammunition was running low and almost any 
thing of metal was used as a substitute for cannon balls. 
Wolfe on the 25*** reported that if more ammunition and 
artillery officers were sent early he would breach the walls 
in the afternoon, and that one of his officers was then 
within fifty or sixty yards of the glacis. The French fleet 
was now destroyed and the British might enter the harbor 
at their convenience and batter the town from another 

Early on the 26*'', Governor de Duncour, after holding 
a council of war wrote to General Amherst offering to 
capitulate on the same terms that had been accorded to 
the British at Port Mahon. The Admiral and the Com- 
mander in chief who had already agreed upon a formal 
summons in form of a letter to be sent to the Governor of 
the Garrison communicated the contents to the French 
messenger. The Governor was offered no terms but was 
required to surrender at discretion. 

Two hours were given for deliberation. 

At the end of this time another officer came from the 
Governor to remonstrate against the severity of the terms 
and asking for more favorable conditions. After consult- 
ation the British officers agreed to soften the expression 
" at discretion " into " as prisoners of war," and to add 
that women and children and such as had not borne arms 
should be returned to France. 

The combattants were to be sent to England. An hour 
was allowed for the consideration of this final reply. Again 
the French asked for further modification. 



They wished that the prisoners of war should be sent to 
France on parole of not serving for a time to be specified 
by the General. When this was refused another hour was 
asked for deliberation ; fifteen minutes were given, with 
the threat that if the time was exceeded upon any pretext 
the batteries would be opened upon the garrison again. 

In a few moments the terms were accepted, and were 
shortly put in form, translated and signed. 

On the day following the capitulation the soldiers of the 
garrison laid down their arms with very bad grace. Their 
surrender notwithstanding the modifications which had 
been made in the terms of the capitulation was humiliating. 

They had, however, little to reproach themselves with 
after the close of the 8^** of June. 

The troops had sallied forth whenever possible and 
shown reasonable courage in the face of a superior force, 
and the gunners had served the cannon until forty out of 
a total of fifty-two had been disabled by the enemy. They 
had suffered in danger and distress whilst shot and shell 
had whistled about their unproteAed heads. Women and 
children had been huddled together in unsafe casemates 
sharing the dangers incident to a siege until the walls 
were breached, houses burned, and the British were ready 
to storm the town by sea and land. The moral and phy- 
sical courage implied in such conduA deserved all praise, 
but did not appeal to the victors as to those unused to war 
and its horrors. The ever gallant Wolfe whom we must 
now follow closely in the remainder of this narrative went 
into Louisbourg to pay his respects to the ladies, but 
he found them so pale, thin, and shaken by their 

1758] LIFE OF WOLFE 1 23 


long continued anxiety and unrest that he cut his visit 

On the 21** of April he had been Commanding officer 
of the 67^ regiment which had been formed into an inde- 
pendent corps from the second battalion of the 20*^. His 
letter to his Irish uncle shows his untiring adlivity and 
desire for adlion. Not a moment was to be lost, although 
one might expe<5l him to wish a few days rest after his 
severe exertions for seven weeks. The reader is able to 
judge from the narrative how incessant and how important 
were his operations, but we may add the testimony of 
Captain Knox's correspondent who declared that Wolfe 
had performed "prodigies of valour", and later he says: 

" Mr. Amherst has displayed the General in all his 
" proceedings, and our four Brigadiers are justly intitled 
" to great praises ; Mr. Wolfe being the youngest in rank, 
" the most adlive part of the service fell to his lot ; he is 
" an excellent Officer, of great valour, which has cons- 
" picuously appeared in the whole course of this under- 
" taking." 

We proceed to give an abstraft from his letter to his 
uncle which is retrospedlive and prospedlive at the same 

" It is impossible to go into any detail of our operations ; 
they would neither amuse nor instrudl, and we are all 
hurried about our letters. In general, it may be said that 
we made a rash and ill-advised attempt to land, and by the 
greatest of good fortune imaginable we succeeded. If we 
had known the country, and had adled with more vigour, 
half the garrison at least (for they were all out) must have 


fallen into our hands immediately after we landed. Our 
next operations were exceedingly slow and injudicious, 
owing partly to the difficulty of landing our stores and 
artillery, and partly to the ignorance and inexperience of 
the engineers " 

A day or two later he says in a letter to Captain 
Amherst, brother of the General, " As I am pretty much 
resoh^ not to stay in America more than this campaign, 
I hope the General will not put me to the necessity of 
insisting upon the Field-Marshal's promise that I should 
return at the end of it." The key to his distaste for 
service in America is to be found in a letter to his father 
written on the 7^ of August. After a panegyric on Lord 
Howe whom he described as " the noblest Englishman 
that has appeared in my time, and the best soldier in the 
arm)*," *' the bravest, worthiest, and most intelligent man 
among us," he pnxreeds : — 

*^ I am in a kind of doubt whether I go to the continent 

or not Abercromby is a hea\^ man, and Brigadier P 

the most detestable dog upon earth, by everybody's 
account. These t\ix) officers hate one another. Now, to 
ser\-e in an armj- so circumstanced is not a very pleasing 
business. If mj^ Lord Howe had lived, I should have 
been very happj* to have received his orders ; or if I 
thought that I could be useful or serviceable, the ugl j- face 
of a£Fairs there wouldn^t discourage me from attempting 

Tiring of his work which to him ^*as tame as compared 
with the excitement of battle, and fearing that winter 
wtmld come before farther operations would be undertaken 

1.758] tlVlt OP WOLFli 125 

by the Commander in Chief, he asked the latter respedl- 
fully what he intended to do. The Commander in Chief 
replied on the 6*'* of August : — 

" La belle saison will get away indeed ; what I most 
wish to do is to go to Quebec. I have proposed it to the 
Admiral, who is the best judge whether or no we can get 
up there, and yesterday he seemed to think it impractic- 

Perhaps Wolfe saw the advantage of pressing the point 
upon the attention of his able but rather too cautions 
chief, for he wrote as follows, in part on the S***. 

" If the Admiral will not carry us to Quebec, reinforce- 
ments should certainly be sent to the continent without 
losing a moment's time. The companies of Rangers, and 
the Light Infantry, would be extremely useful at this 
juncture ; whereas here they are perfedlly idle, and, like 
the rest, of no manner of service to the public. If Law- 
rence has any objection to going I am ready to embark 
with four or five battalions, and will hasten to the assist- 
ance of our countrymen." *' This d. . . .d French garrison 
takes up our time and attention, which might be better 
bestowed upon the interesting affairs of the continent. 
The transports are ready, and a small convoy would carry 
a brigade to Boston or New York." 

Amherst replied upon the same day to this energetic 
epistle and declared that he thought it would be best to go 
to Quebec at once, if pradlicable, as he had thought from 
the first ; but he felt that it was advisable since the Ticon- 
deroga affair to send reinforcements to Abercrombie, some 
regiments to the Bay of Fundy and the rest to the St. 

126 THli SIEGE OF QUEBEC [^758 

Laurence. At the close of his letter he administers a 
gentle rebuke while he shows ho;w he values Wolfe's 

" My wishes are to hasten everything for the good of the 
service, and I have not the least doubt but Mr. Boscawen 
will do the same. Whatever schemes you have, or infor- 
mation that you can give, to quicken our motions, your 
communicating them will be very acceptable, and will be 
of much more service than your thoughts of quitting the 
army, which I can by no means agree to, as all my thoughts 
and wishes are confined at present to pursuing our opera- 
tions for the good of his Majesty's service, and I know 
nothing that can tend more to it than your assisting in it." 

In a letter to his mother written on the ii^'* of August 
he describes the climate of America of which he knew little, 
of course, except by report ; makes remarks upon the social 
condition of the people, and then proceeds into the region 
of prophecy. 

" This will, some time hence, be a vast empire, the seat of 
power and learning. 

Nature has refused them nothing, and there will grow a 
people out of our little spot, England, that will fill this 
vast space, and divide this great portion of the globe with 
the Spaniards, who are possessed of the other half .... 
If Abercromby had acted with half as much caution and 
prudence as General Amherst did, this must have been a 
dear campaign to the French." 

On the 15*^ of August all the prisoners of war, 349 
officers, 3,498 soldiers and seamen fit for duty, 1,790 sick 
and wounded, 5,637 in all, left for England, and garrison 

I75SJ 1.IKH OF \VOLFl> 127 

duty at Louisbourg was pradlically at an end for the 
British. Wolfe who had suggested an offensive and 
destructive warfare in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the 
Commander in Chief a week before did not at all relish 
the performance of such duties himself. He did not 
decline to perfonn such tasks then, or hesitate to order 
them in the following year, but they were not to his taste. 
He says : 

" Sir Charles Hardy and I are preparing to rob the 
fishermen of their nets, and to* bum their huts. When 
that g^eat exploit is at an end (which we reckon will be a 
month's or five week's work), I return to Louisbourg, and 
from thence to England, if no orders arrive in the mean- 
while that oblige me to stay." 

On the 30*** of September, about a month later, Wolfe 
had finished his work along the Gasp6 coast and was again 
in Louisbourg. There he wrote to Amherst who had gone 
to join the main army. " Your orders," he says, were 
carried into execution as far as troops, who are limited in 
their operations by other powers, could carry them. I 
have made my report to General Abercromby, to which (as 
it is pretty long) I beg to refer. Our equipment was very 
improper for the business, and the numbers, unless the 
squadron had gone up the river, quite unnecessary. We 
have done a great deal of mischief, — spread the terror of 
his Majesty's arms through the whole gulf ; but have 
added nothing to the reputation of them." 

He closes this letter with the declaration that if Amherst 
would " attempt to cut up New France by the roots " he 
could come back with pleasure to assist. 

12^ 1*HE SIEgE of QUEBEC [^758 

There being no further business for Brigadier Wolfe he 
soon departed for Halifax with the Admiral, and landed at 
Portsmouth in the i** of November. He immediately 
joined his regiment at Salisbury and asked for leave of 
absence to go up to London. This he received after a 
little delay, and at once be hastened to pay his filial 
respe(5ls to the aged General and Mrs Wolfe. 

His next letter of importance, one of the most important 
he ever penned judging it by results and not by its 
brevity, was written to Pitt on the 22"*^ of November. It 
reads : — 

" Since my arrival in town, I have been told that your 
intentions were to have continued me upon the service in 
America. The condition of my health, and other circum- 
stances, made me desire to return at the end of the 
campaign ; and by what my Lord Ligonier did me the 
honour to say, I understood it was to be so. General 
Amherst saw it in the same light. 

I take the freedom to acquaint you that I have no 
objeAion to serving in America, and particularly in the 
river St. Lawrence, if any operations are to be carried on 
there. The favour I ask is only to be allowed a sufficient 
time to repair the injury done to my constitution by the 
long confinement at sea, that I may be the better able to 
go through the business of the next summer." 

The rest of Wolfe's life falls naturally into the chapters 
in the following volumes, beginning with the preparations 
for the St. Lawrence expedition and ending with his tragic 
and victorious death on the 13^ of September, 1759. 


Major General Wolfe. Neptune at Sea. June^ ^ ^759* 

of Boats. 







Since the Redudian 
of Lauisbaurg. 











WOLFE and Montcalm ! Two great generals whose names 
were associated in life by the momentous struggle 
in which they were engaged against each other, and for 
ever associated in death' by a common glory, and by the 
faithful remembrance and fond admiration of posterity. 

Wolfe was the invader of New France, Montcalm was 
her defender. They were the worthy champions of two 
mighty powers, of two illustrious nations who contended 
for empire on the shores of the royal St. Lawrence. Both 
were brave, sincere, disinterested, upright, devoted to their 
King and flag. They fell upon the same day, upon the 
same battlefield, and the two strong races who met in 
deadly conflict on the Plains of Abraham, united in peace 
after having been opposed in war, have erected to the 
memory of the Vanquisher and the Vanquished a common 

monument, which will stand for ever as a symbol of the 


era of peace which succeeded the bloody strife of past ages. 

Mortem virtus communem, famam 
historia, monumentum posteritas dedit (i) 

In the preceeding pages of this work, we have traced the 
early career and achievements of Wolfe till the moment he 
appeared before the lofty ramparts of Quebec, and it is 
now our task to unfold the life and glorious deeds of 

Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, ^'Uord of Saint-V6ran, 
Candiac, Tomemire, Vestric, Saint-Julien d'Arpam, baron 
de Gabriac, was bom in the Chateau de Candiac, near 
Nimes, on the 29^ of February 1712. His family belonged 
originally to the province of Rouergue. The christian 
names of his father were Louis-Daniel ; his mother was 
Marie-Th6r6se-Charlotte de Lauris de Castellane-Dampus. 
The child was christened in the church of Vauvert, ^^ his 
grandfather on the maternal side, the Marquis de Castellane- 
Dampus, was his god-father ; and his god-mother was his 
great-grandmother on the same side, Madame de Vaux. 

Montcalm's early years were spent at Roquemaure, the 
residence of Madame de Vaux. As he was not a strong child 
she did not pay much attention to his studies while he 

(i) A monunieut was erected to Wolfe and Montcalm in 1828, on the 
spot now designated as ** le jardin du Fort " at Quebec, under the 
auspices of I^rd Dalhousie. A committee composed of French and 
English gentlemen was fonued for the purpose. The lines quoted above 
are inscribed on the memorial. 

(2) In 1438, Jean de Montcalm had been wedded to Jeanne de Gozon, 
flrrand-nicce of the famous knight Deodat de Gozon, grand-master of the 
illustrious order of Saint-John of Jerusalem But it was only in 1582 that 
the Montcalm family assumed the name of Gozon. 

(3) The castle of Candiac belonged to the parish of Vauvert. 

1718] Ul^fi 01^ MONTCALM 131 

remained with her. At the age of six he was unable to 
read, but he was bright and naturally clever, and gave 
promise of being able to make up for his early deficiencies. 

In 1 718, his father sent him to Grenoble and placed him 
under the tuition of Louis Dumas, a learned and renowned 
professor of that time, who proved an able tutor, although 
at times he was perhaps too severe and exadling. Mont- 
calm had a retentive memory, and in a few years he 
became well versed in Latin, Greek and history. It appears, 
however, that he did not make equal progress in the study 
of French, or with his caligraphy. Dumas wrote to the 
Marquis de Montcalm : " I would rather see him ignorant 
*' of Latin and Greek, than know them as he does without 
" knowing how to read, write, and speak French well." 

On another occasion Dumas wrote : " It seems as if his 
" hand-writing is getting more rough and shocking ; in 
" vain do I show it and repeat it to him." 

For many years Dumas, devoted himself to Montcalm's 
education, even after the young man had entered the army, 
for we find that he was giving him instruction in Paris in 
the year 1728. In his desire that his pupil should attain 
a high standard of culture, Dumas often appears harsh in 
his judgment. " When I think of the inaptness and want 
" of talent of M. de Montcalm, I come to the conclusion 
" that he must be more docile, painstaking, and inclined 

" to follow my advice What will become of him? " 

There was certainly exaggeration in these complaints. 
Montcalm was a gifted young man, who liked to have his 
own way at times, but this did not prevent him from 
acquiring knowledge, or from becoming a scholar. Indeed 


he might have made for himself a repntation in the world 
of letters, had he not chosen the pntfession oi arms. 

Montcalm felt his tutor's excessive stri<Sbiess, and in 
answer to one of his expressions of dissatisfaction he wrote 
to his father : " In a few words, here are my aims : i. To 
^' be an honourable man oi good morals, brave and a 
^ Christian. 2. To read in moderation ; to know as much 
Greek and Latin as most men oi the world ; also the 
four rules of arithmetic, and something oi history, 
geography, and French and Latin Belles-Lettres, as well 
as to have a taste for the arts and sciences ; to be fond 
of intelleiShial accuracy, if I do not possess it myself. 
3. And above all, to be obedient, docile, and very 
submissive to your orders, and those of my dear mother, 
and to defer to the advice of M. Dumas. 4. To fence 
and ride as well as my small abilities will permiL" 
These were noble aims, but his future history proved 
that his attainments were far greater than his own modest 
estimation of his capabilities. 

M. Dumas had a pupil perhaps more to his taste in the 
person of a brother of Montcalm, seven yeaiTS younger, 
named Jean de Montcalm de Candiac. This boy was 
remarkable on account erf his precocity. When only thirtj- 
months old, he had mastered the alphabet ; at the age of 
three ye^rs he could read printed texts and manuscripts 
in Latin and Greek. At five he could make Latin transla- 
tions, and at six he could xead and translate Greek and 
Hebrew, and was well versed in all branches of arithmetic. 
Dumas took him to Paris, where he was regarded as a real 
phenomenon. These abnormal qualities of his mind were 






1733] ^^^^ O^ MONTCALM 1 33 

apparently too great for his physical strength, for Jean de 
Montcalm died in the French Capital at the age of seven 

In the meantime the elder Montcalm had entered upon 
a career in which he was to make his name famous. At 
the age of fifteen he joined the army as an ensign in the 
regiment of Hainaut. He took part in the sieges of Kehl 
and Philipsbourg during the war resulting from the com- 
petition of Frederick-Augustus III, Elector of Saxony, 
and Stanislas Leckzinski, father of Mary, Queen of France, 
for the throne of Poland. Amidst the cares and duties of 
camp life, Montcalm found time for study. Writing to his 
father from Otreback, near Krayserslautem, in 1733, he 
said : " I am learning German, and read more Greek, 
" thanks to my loneliness, than I had done for three or 
four years." 

In 1735, he lost his father who left him a very moderate 

During the following year, upon the advice, and through 
the kind offices of the marquis de la Fare, a friend of his 
family, he married Angelique-Louise Talon du Boulay, 
daughter of the Marquis du Boulay, Colonel of the regi- 
ment d'Orleanais, and grand-daughter of the celebrated 
Denis Talon./'^ She proved a good and loving wife and a 
devoted mother. Ten children were bom of this marriage, 
of whom two sons and four daughter, were living in 1752. 

Montcalm wrote at this time : " May God preserve them 

(i) Denis Talon was Attorney-General in the Paris Parliament during 
the XVII century. Jean Talon, Intendant of New France in 1665, was 
a member of this family. 


" all aud make them prosper for this world and the next ! 
" Perhaps it will be thought that the number is large for 
" so moderate a fortune, especially as four of them are 
" girls ; but does God ever abandon his children in their 
" need ? " 

'* Aux petits des oiseaux il donne la pdture 
Et sa bont^ s'^tend sur toute la nature." 

Montcalm's faith was sincere. The principles of the 
catholic religion were deeply instilled into his soul by his 
mother, la Marquise de Saint-V6ran, a woman of remark- 
able intellect, and high moral charadler. 

The Austrian war of succession called Montcalm once 
more from the peace of domestic life to the turmoil and 
peril of the battlefield. 

His regiment, however, was not ordered to the front. 
Desiring to signalize himself in some way, he sought per- 
mission to accompany the Marquis de la Fare, as aid de 
camp in Bohemia, in 1741. On the 22°** of July in the 
same year he was made a knight of Saint Louis. 

In 1743, he was appointed Colonel of the regiment 

From 1744 to 1748, Montcalm fought in Italy, and dis- 
dinguished himself on many occasions. On the 16^^ of 
June, 1746, he took part in the disastrous battle which was 
fought under the walls of Piacenza, where the French and 
Spaniards were badly beaten by the Austrians. Mont- 
calm was foremost in this affray, twice rallied his regiment 
which was almost annihilated, and received five wounds, 
of which two were sabre cuts in the head. He was made 
a prisoner, and allowed to return to France on parole, and 

1748] LIFK OK MONTCALM 1 35 

in March, 1747, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier. 
An exchange of prisoners was soon after effected, and 
he rejoined the army, took part in another sangninary 
, encounter 111 Italy, and was again wounded by a shot in 
the forehead. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle put an end 
to this war on the 15*** of October, 1748. During these 
campaigns, Montcalm had been more them once entrusted 
with commands above his rank as colonel. 

Under a royal ordinance, in 1749, many regiments, in- 
cluding Auxerrois, were suppressed, and incorporated in 
other bodies. In the meantime two new cavalry regiments 
were created and Montcalm was placed at the head of one 
of them. 

The six years following spent in the midst of his family, 
were perhaps the happiest years of his life, for he was able 
to devote himself to his mother and to his wife and children 
in the peace and quietness of his dear Chdteau de Candiac. 

But Montcalm was only forty four years of age, and he 
had the legitimate ambition to rise in his profession. 

Not only did he desire promotion for himself, but also 
on account of his children, especially his eldest son, a young 
man of great promise. 

He could not anticipate what a mournful and glorious 
fate awaited him ! The minister of War, M. d'Argenson, 
knew him well, and had formed a high estimate of his 

At the end of the year 1755, being in need of a good 
general officer to command the French troops in Canada, 
he broached the subjedl to Montcalm, who appeared inclined 
to accept the post if it were offered to him. 


For several weeks the matter remained in abeyance, but 
on the 26'^ of January, 1756, he received a letter from M. 
d'Argenson, in which the minister said : 

** Perhaps, Monsieur, you did not expe<5l to hear from 
me again on the subjedl of the conversation I had with you 
the day you came to bid me farewell at Paris. Nevertheless 
I have not forgotten for a moment the suggestion I then 
made you ; and it is with the greatest pleasure that I 
announce to you that my views have prevailed. The kiug 
has chosen you to command his troops in North America, 
and will honor you on your departure with the rank of 
Major-General. But what shall please you more yet. His 
Majesty will have your place, at the head of your regiment, 
filled by your own son. This is a promotion a little dif- 
ferent from that of captain which you so earnestly wished 
for him. Pray, lose no time to come here and offer your 
thanks to the king for his favours and the distinAion he 
has bestowed upon you. The general applause from the 
public will add to your satisfadlion. His Majesty gives 
you, to command in second, under your Orders, M. le che- 
valier de L6vis, ^'^ to whom is granted the rank of brigadier, 
and, as third commanding officer, Mr. de Bourlamaque, 
with the rank of colonel." 

Montcalm was in the South of France when he received 
this letter. He did not stop a moment but immediately 
left for Paris. On his way thither he began to read 

(i) Fran9ois, chevalier de L^vis, born in 1723, second lieutenant in 
1735, captain in 1737. present at the siege of Prague and at the retreat 
from Bohemia in 1742, at the battle of Dettingen in 1743, aide-major- 
fenerat des logis in 1747. Was made a brigadier in 1756. 

1756] UPE OF MONTCALM 1 37 

Charlevoix* History of New-France, published ten years 
before, in order to acquaint himself with the country to 
which he was going to take charge of the king's army. 
From Lyons, he wrote to his mother : " I am reading with 
much pleasure the History of New-France, written by 
father Charlevoix. He gives a nice description of Quebec." 
We find in the same letter the following lines : " Mr. le 
cur6 de Vauvert has celebrated mass for me, and will do 
the same every week. That is good.'* He reached Paris 
at the end of February, and in one of his letters at this 
time we catch a glimpse of his personal affairs : " Don't 
expedl any long letter from me before the first of March ; 
all my business will be done by that time, and I shall 
begin to breathe again. I have not yet seen the Chevalier 
de Montcalm (his son). Last night I came from Versailles, 
and am going back to-morrow. The King gives me 
twenty-five thousands francs a year, as he did to M. 
Dieskau, besides twelve thousand for my equipment, 
which will cost me above a thousand crowns more, but I 
cannot stop for that. I embrace my dearest and all the 
family."' And a few days later, speaking of his son who 
had joined him : " He is as thin and delicate as ever, but 
grows prodigiously tall." On the second of March, Mont- 
calm gives his mother this new piece of information: 
" My affairs begin to get on. A good part of the baggage 
went off the day before yesterday in the King's wagons ; 
an assistant-cook and two livery men yesterday. I have a 
good cook. Est^ve, my Secretary, will go on the eighth ; 
Joseph and D^jean will follow me. To-morrow evening I 
go to Versailles till Sunday, and will write from there to 


Madame de Montcalm (his wife). I have three aides-de- 
camp ; one of them, Bougainville, a man of parts, pleasant 
company." On the 15^** he writes once more from Paris : 
" In a few hours I set out for Brest. Yesterday I presented 
my son, with whom I am well pleased, to all the royal 
family. I shall have a secretary at Brest, and will write 
more at length." On the eighteenth he has reached 
Rennes and writes to his wife : " I arrived, dearest, this 
morning, and stay here all day. I shall be at Brest on 
the twenty-first. Everything will be on hand on the 
twenty-sixth. My son has been here since yesterday for 
me to coach him and get him a uniform made, in which he 
will give thanks for his regiment at the same time that I 
take leave in my embroidered coat. Perhaps I shall leave 
debts behind. I wait impatiently for the bills. You have 
my will ; I wish you would get it copied, and send it to 
me before I sail." ^'^ 

Montcalm arrived at Brest on the 21*^ of March. He 
met there L6vis, Bourlamaque and Bougainville, and was 
much pleased with them. ** I like the Chevalier de Levis," 
he says, ** and I think he likes me." The three aides-de- 
camp to which he refers in his letter were, MM. de Bou- 
gainville, de la Rochebeaucour, who had served as a lieu- 
tenant in Montcalm's regiment, and Marcel, a sergeant, 
who had been given a commission as an officer for this 
occasion, and was to act as joint secretary. 

Two battalions, one from the regiment of La Sarre, and 

(i) Quoted from Parkinan's Monlcalm and Wolfe, pp. 360, 361, 362. 
Parkman says of these letters : ** No translation can give an idea of the 
rapid, id>mpt, elliptical style of this familiar correspondence.'* 

1756] ^^^^^* OV MONTCALM 1 39 

one from Royal Roiissillon, forming together 1200 men, 
were chosen as reinforcements for Canada, and were ordered 
to embark on the " Ltepard," the " H^ros " and the 
" Illustre." Montcalm took passage on the " Licorne," 
L^vis in the " Sauvage," and Bonrlamaque in the " Sir^ne." 

Montcalm sailed on the 3""*^ of April, and the passage 
was very rough. During Holy Week the " Licome " 
encountered a heavy gale which caused sickness amongst 
the passengers, although Montcalm escaped. The ship 
came to anchor ten leagues below Quebec thirty eight days 
after sailing, and was detained there for three days. Being 
impatient to reach the capital of New France, Montcalm 
landed at St. Joachim, and proceeded by land to Quebec, 
sleeping at Chateau Richer on the 1 2^ of May. In the 
meantime the wind having changed, the "Licome" and 
" H^ros " entered the port of Quebec on the 13^ and Mont- 
calm arrived a few hours later. On the same day he was 
entertained in a princely manner by M. Francois Bigot, 
Intendant of New France. The dinner given in his honour 
was a magnificent one : forty guests were assembled. " A 
Parisian, " observes Montcalm, " would have been surprised 
at the profusion of good things which were displayed on 
the table. Such splendour and good cheer shows that the 
place (of intendant) is good." 

We shall hear again of M. Bigot ! 



Tyv Ills commission the Marquis de Montcalm was not 
'^ vested with the authority of Commander in chief of 
His Majesty's troops in North America. The Governor 
General of Canada was to be his superior. 
The commission was thus worded : — 

" Louis, &c." — Having resolved to send additional troops 
to Canada, and wishing to provide for the command both 
of the said reinforcements and of the troops we ordered 
thither last year, which command is vacant by the deten- 
tion of Baron de Dieskau, on whom we had conferred it, 
we have concluded that a better choice could not be made 
than of our dear and well beloved, the Marquis de Mont- 
calm, Major-General in our armies, considering the proofs 
he has given us of his valor, experience, capacity, fidelity 
and affection to our service in the different engagements 
and other commissions entrusted to his care. 

" These and other considerations us moving, we have 
made constituted, ordained and established and by these 
presents, signed by our hand, do make, constitute, ordain 
and establish, the said Marquis de Montcalm, Commander, 


under the authority of our Governor-General of said coun- 
try, of the troops that are to proceed to Canada, and of those 
at present there, and have given and do give him power to 
employ them wheresoever need shall be for effecting our 
intentions ; to make them live in good order, police and 
discipline, according to our military rules and ordinances ; 
to cause the same to be kept, maintained and observed 
inviolable in all places where said troops shall be employed, 
to authorize the punishment and chastisement of those 
who shall dare to contravene them; to see that all the 
accoutrements which shall have been ordered, be made 
exactly by those commissioned to that effect, and generally 
to do and order, as regards said troops, all that he shall 
judge necessary ; all, as already stated, under the authority 
of our Governor-General in Canada.'' ^'^ 

Under this document the Governor's authority was 
supreme in military matters, and the King's instructions 
to Montcalm were still more urgent and explicit. " His 
Majesty has given orders to M. de Vaudreuil, Governor- 
General of New-France, as to the manner in which the 
troops and militia in his government are to be employed 
for the defence of Canada and other purposes ; and as the 
said Marquis de Montcalm is to command only under this 
Governor's authority and be his subordinate in all matters, 
. . . . M. de Montcalm shall have only to execute and see 
that the troops under his command execute all the Gov- 
ernor's orders . . . Whenever campaign operations will be 

(i) Documents relating to the colonial history of the State of New- York, 
Vol. X, Paris Documaits, p. 394. 

1756] tlPn OF MONTCALM 145 

in question, the Governor-General shall have the right to 
determine them alone without consulting any war council 
nor giving any previous communication of his plans. But, 
whether he convenes a war council to devise such opera- 
tions, whether he be satisfied with a private discussion of 
the matter with M. le Marquis de Montcalm, or decides 
alone, M. de Moncalm shall always submit to the orders 
and instructions of this Governor for the movements of 
detachments, or for his own direction of expeditions. He 
shall change nothing in the orders given, unless the Gov- 
ernor-General has granted him leave to do so ; or when 
such changes are unavoidable owing to unforeseen and 
urgent emergencies, he will immediately inform him of 
such modifications and of their object. In a word, the 
Governor-General shall rule and decide all military opera- 
tions. And M. le Marquis de Montcalm shall have to 
execute them as prescribed." ^'^ 

These diredlions were very stringent. On the other 
hand Montcalm's powers as commander of the troops, were 
ample, and he was looked upon as the true military leader. 
Hence a possibility of fridlion which was soon to become 
a sad reality. 

The Governor-General of Canada was at that moment 
Pierre-Fran9ois de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, son of 
the Marquis de Vaudreuil who had been himself Governor 
of New-France from 1703 to 1725. He was a Canadian, 
born at Montreal in 1704.^'^ He had been a captain in 

(i) Leiiresdela Gourde Versailles,— coWtotion L6vis; pp 40, 41 
(i) Benjamin Suite, Nonvelles Soirtes Canadiennes, 1888, p. 146. 

i44 I^HE SIfiGE OP QUEBEC [^75^ 

the troupes de la marine^ and Governor of Louisiana from 
1 743 to 1 755. His commission as Governor of Canada was 
dated January i*^ I755i and registered at the Superior 
Council of Quebec on the 10^ of July. Parkman gives a very 
good summary of Vaudreuil's character in these words : 
^' He had not the force of charaAer which his position 
demanded, lacked decision in times of crisis ; and though 
tenacious of authority, was more jealous in asserting than 
self-reliant in exercising it. One of his traits was a sensi- 
tive egotism, which made him forward to proclaim his own 
part in every success, and to throw on others the burden 
of every failure. He was facile by nature, and capable of 
being led by such as had skill and temper for the task." ^'^ 

Montcalm, on the other hand was quick in conception, 
fearless, generous and impulsive, self reliant, and decisive 
in a(5lion. 

When Montcalm arrived in Quebec, the Governor general 
was at Montreal, where he seems to have spent a good 
deal of time during his administration, he therefore sent a 
courier to Montreal to inform him of his arrival. 

On the 2i*' of the month he wrote to the Minister of 
War, M. d'Argenson : " To morrow I proceed to join him 
(the governor). Everything is in movement for the opening 
of the campaign. The winter has been less severe than 
usual. I found it impossible to repair sooner to Montreal, 
as the rain has rendered the roads impassable, and the 
winds were contrary. The same reasons have retarded Mr. 
Doreil's arrival, who is coming to receive the troops, and 

(2) Parkman *s Montcalm and Wolfe, Vol i, p. 366. 

1756] UI*K 01* MONTCALM 145 

with whom I expecSl to confer on the way. During my 
eight days' sojourn, I have taken information respecting a 
country and a war, in which everything is different to 
what obtains in Europe, and acquired a knowledge of 
Quebec and its environs. I shall be in Montreal on 
Tuesday morning, although I have to travel sixty leagues, 
partly in a cart, in canoe and in a vehicle peculiar to the 
country, which seems to have served as a model to the 
cabriolets of Paris." ^'^ 

Montcalm left Quebec on the 23*^*^ of May and reached 
Montreal on the 26*''. His first meeting with Vaudreuil 
appears to have been most friendly, for on the 12*'' of June, 
the Governor, in a letter to the Minister of war, refers to 
the circumstance in these words : 

" I have experienced a real pleasure, my Lord, in con- 
ferring with M. de Montcalm, especially oli what relates to 
the service of the land forces, both in garrison and in the 
field. I a6l in concert with him for the incorporation of 
the recruits into the different corps, and we conform our- 
selves exactly to the intentions of the King. I have not 
concealed anything from him of the actual condition of 
the colony. He is very prepossessing. On my side, I 
negledl nothing for the maintenance of union and under- 
standing between us, and we shall always agree as to 
whatever will tend to the good of the service and advantage 
of the colony." 

Evidently, Montcalm had created a favourable impres- 

(i) Paris Documents, vol. X., p. 399. That vehicle was the Canadian 

I— 10 

146 fHE SIEGE 01? QUEBEC [^75^ 

sion on the Governor. This is somewhat surprising 
because on the 30*** October 1755, Vaudreuil had written a 
letter to the minister discouraging the . appointment of a 
French general officer to command the troops. He gave 
expression to his views in these words : 

" I must, my Lord, have the honour to represent to you 
that it is not necessary to have a general officer at the head 
of these four battalions (La Reine, Languedoc, Guyenne 
and B&im)^*^; they can be disciplined and exercised with- 
out that. War in this country is very different from the 
wars in Europe. We are obliged to adl with great cir- 
cumspection so as not to leave anything to chance; we 
have few men, and however small the number we may 
lose, we feel its effeA. However brave the commander of 
those troops may be, he could not be acquainted with the 
country, nor perhaps, be willing to receive the advice 
subalterns may offer; would rely on himself or on ill 
enlightened counsels, and would not succceed, though he 
should sacrifice himself. I found my representations on 
the result of M. de Dieskau's campaign. Besides, I must 
not conceal from you, my Lord, that the Canadians and 
Indians would not march with the same confidence under 

(i) These four battalions had been sent to Canada in the spring of 1755, 
with MM. de Vaudreuil and Dieskau ; thirteen companies of Beam, 
thirteen companies of Ouyenne, nine companies of I^a Reine and nine 
companies of Languedoc reached Quebec. Four companies of La Reine 
and four companies of languedoc were captured by the English on board 
of ** I/C Lys. ** Thirteen companies of I^ Sarre and thirteen companies 
of Royal-Roussillon, came to Canada in 1756, with MM. de Montcalm, 
I^vis and Bourlamaque. Each company was composed of forty soldiers. 
(Dussicux, Le Canada sous la Domination franqaise^ p. 131.) Thus the 
strength of the six battalions was about 2800 soldiers. 


the order of a commander of the troops from Frauce as 
they would under the officers of this colony. I flatter my- 
self that you will approve my representations, the objedl 
of which is the good of the service and of this country." ^'^ 

We have seen that the court did not follow the Gov- 
ernor's advice, and instead sent le Marquis de Montcalm 
as general officer. The minister of war had even written 
to Vaudreuil that the latter should perhaps be entrusted 
with the command not only of les troupes de terre but also 
of les troupes de la marine and the militia. On that point 
the Governor was free to exercise his own discretion. He 
could widen the scope of Montcalm's military jurisdiction 
or restrict it. His decision was not to be doubted. " The 
General," he wrote to the Minister, " ought to concern 
himself with nothing but the command of the troops from 
France." All these passages are given to show that the 
words of Vaudreuil towards Montcalm were the more to be 
appreciated because the writer had some reason to be dis- 
appointed at the Major-General's arrival. 

On the other hand what were Montcalm's feelings? 
They seemed sympathetic enough, at first sight. He wrote 
to M. de Machault, the Minister of Marine : " The Governor- 
General overwhelms me with politeness ; I believe him to 
be satisfied with my conduct towards him, and I think it 
convinced him that general officers can be found in France 
who will study the public good under his orders, without 
pretension or finesse. He is acquainted with the country ; 
possesses in his hands both authority and means; is at 

(i) Paris Documents, Vol. X., p. 375. 


the head of business ; he it is who must prescribe it ; it is 
mine to relieve him of the details relative to our troops, in 
what regards discipline and the execution of his plans." ^'^ 
Montcalm's attitude appears fair, but he was non-committal, 
and underlying his ofl&cial deference there is perhaps a 
trace of scorn. To the minister of war he was more free, 
and gave expression to his feelings : 

" M. de Vaudreuil *' said he, " particularly respedls the 
Indians, loves the Canadians, is acquainted with the 
country has good sense, but is somewhat weak, and I 
stand very well with him. " ^^^ 

He does not say anything about Vaudreuil's love for the 
French, and it would appear that there was a touch of 
scarcasm in the words " respects the Indians, loves the 

A few days later he wrote again to M. d'Argenson : " I 
am on good terms with him, but not in his confidence, 
which he never give to any body from France. His inten- 
tions are good, but he is slow and irresolute. ^^^ 

In the various letters from which we have quoted, men- 
tion is made of the preparations for the next campaign, 
and of the measures adopted for the defence of Canada, 
and we will therefore briefly review the situation of New 
France at this time. 

In 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had put an end 
to the war between France and England, and it was under- 
stood that affairs in America would be restored to the con- 

(i) Montcalm si M. de Machault, 12 juin 1756. 

(2) Montcalm d M. d'Argenson, 12 juin 1756. 

(3) Montcalm d M. d'Argenson, 19 juin 1756. 


dition that they were in previous to the commencement of 
hostilities. This peace, however, was only a deception. 
England was determined to continue to fight, and France 
was equally determined to check the movements of her 
powerful rival. It is a curious fa<5l that the signal of the 
rupture was not given by either of the two governments, 
but by their colonies. New England and New France. 
While France and England were officially at peace in 
Europe, while English ambassadors bowed their respects 
at Louis' levies and French ambassadors graced the court 
of St. James', French and English soldiers and colonists 
were engaged in fierce contests on the banks of Lake 
George and of the Beautiful River. The fire brand was 
the Ohio Valley, possession of which was claimed by each 
country. In the spring of the year 1754, a young lieutenant 
colonel, twenty-seven years of age, at the head of a body 
of Virginia militia, crossed the abrupt range of the Alle- 
ghanies, and made his way towards the forts of the Ohio 
where the French had built a stronghold called Fort 

The commander of this fort immediately sent a young 
French officer named Coulon de Junionville as VLparlemen- 
taire^ with a small band of thirty-four men, to deliver to 
the youthful lieutenant-colonel a mandate intimating that 
the Virginia force had no right to invade this territory, 
and that it should retire at once. 

At dawn on the 28^ of May, Jumonville and his men 
were surrounded by the American regiment. Their com- 
mander gave the word to fire and Jumonville was killed 
with nine of his companions. When M. de Contrecoeur, 


commander of Fort Duquesue, received intelligence of the 
untimely fate of Jumonville, he sent Coulon de Villiers, 
brother of the late parlementaire, at the head of six or 
seven hundred men to pursue the Virginians. Villiers 
overtook them at their entrenchments which they had 
named Fort Necessity, and after a deadly fight he forced 
them to capitulate. 

At the foot of the a(5l of capitulation could be read the 
name of George Washington, lieutenant-colonel in the 
Virginian militia. 

In January, 1755, England sent two regiments to 
America, and France prepared an armament. A fleet of 
eighteen ships bearing six battalions of regular troops, 
sailed for New-France on the 3*^^ of May. Admiral Bos- 
cawen was immediately ordered by the British Government 
to intercept the vessels. 

On the 7^^* of June, three of the French ships which had 
been lost in a fog, were surrounded by the British men-of- 
war. One of the vessels was fortunate enough to escape, 
but the other two " L'Alcide " and " Le Lys " were captured. 

A few weeks after, war was officially declared. General 
Braddock was sent by the English Government to com- 
mand the regular troops and the provincial militia, and 
the French Government placed the Baron de Dieskau at 
the head of the troops in Canada. 

Braddock had been instrudled to take Fort Duquesue. 
His army was composed of two thousand two hundred 
men. But on his way he was attacked by a bod}^ of two 
hundred and fifty French and six hundred and fift}^ 
Indians, and after a fight of four hours, he was completely 


routed and killed. This battle known under the name of 
Monongah^la, was fought on the 9*'' of July. 

Two months later, on the S^^ of September 1755, M. de 
Dieskau encountered almost a similar fate at lake George. 
He was beaten by the militia of Massachusetts, New- York, 
Connedlicut, New-Hampshire and Rhode Island, com- 
manded by William Johnson, and was made a prisoner 
on the battle-field, after having received four dangerous 
wounds. Thus when Montcalm was sent to Canada in the 
spring of 1756, a great war between the two nations had 
virtually been in existence for two years, and the frontiers 
of New France were menaced at almost every point by an 
enemy whose resources were perhaps fifteen times greater 
than hers. 




/k^* ^^^jtefw^^^ \jl>ma^ir^M4 -^^^(Ss^/U&y^ y yh '^■fli^i) fy^t, i^_ 




^T^HE point of the Canadian frontier which it appeared the 
* English were likely to attack in 1756, was Carillon, 
or Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. During the previous 
autumn, after Dieskau's defeat, the Marquis de Vaudreuil 
had ordered M. de Lotbiniere, a colonial engineer, to begin 
a fort ht that place. The work was continued early the 
next year. It was a square constnuSlion, with four bastions, 
defended by a redoubt situated upon a hill which com- 
manded the position. In the early part of June, the 
batalions of La Reine, and Languedoc with a body of 
Canadians and Indians, were encamped there. 

On the 27*^' of June, Montcalm and Levis left Montreal 
and arrived at Carillon on the 3*^^ of July, and Montcalm 
remained there until the fifteenth. 

In a letter to the Count d'Argenson he gives the follow- 
ing report of his inspection : 

" The fort commenced last year, cannot, before a month 
at the earliest, be in a condition to risk a garrison in it, in 
case of an untoward event. And moreover, it would be 
necessary to maintain the same a(5livity that I introduced 

154 'I^HE SIEGE OF QUEBEC [^756 

there during my visit. The fort consists of pieces of 
timber in layers, bound together with traverses, the inter- 
stices filled in with earth. Such construction is proof 
against cannon, and in that respect is as good as masonry, 
and much better than earthen work ; but it is not durable. 
The site of the fort is well adapted as a first line at the 
head of Lake Champlain. I should have wished it to be 
somewhat larger, capable of containing five hundred men, 
whereas it can accommodate, at most, only three hundred. 
" To understand the ground, I took two long walks 
afoot with Chevalier de L^vis. I am indebted to him for 
a third, which was necessary to acquire a knowledge of a 
part called the Mohawk road, of which every one speaks 
without being acquainted with it. He has been sleeping 
three days in the woods au bivouac. I do not believe 
there are many superior officers in Europe who are obliged 
to make such journeys afoot. It would be impossible for 
me, my Lord, to speak too highly of him to you ; without 
possessing much genius, he has considerable practical 
knowledge, good sense, is quick-sighted, and though I had 
served with him, I could not have believed that he had so 
much readiness. He has derived profit from his campaigns. 
.... His present position is necessarily difficult. I left 
him fully aware of it as well as of his resources. It may 
be delicate if we have to contend against an enemy aware 
of their advantages, and able to attack him with a very 
superior force. I wished he had at least 3000 good men, 
exclusive of the Indians who come and go. I left him 
only 2000, fourteen or fifteen hundred of whom are Regular 
or Marine forces ; the remainder Militia. About 400 


recruits, soldiers or Militia men are on the march to join 
him. I urge M. de Vaudreuil to augment them still 
further.'' <'> 

The military force of the colony at this time might be 
divided as follows : 

I. Les troupes de terre, or the regulars from France, 
the battalions of La Reiue, Guyenne, B6arn, Langucdoc, 
La Sarre, and Royal Roussillon. 2. les troupes de la 
marine; 3. The niilitin. 

The battalions of La Reine, Guyenne, B6ani and Laii- 
guedoc had been sent to Canada in 1755 under the baron 
de Dieskau, but four companies of La Reine, and four 
companies of Languedoc's regiment had been captured on 
board the ship " Le Lys ", which reduced the battalions to 
nine companies each. 

At that time the French army, so far as concerns the 
infantry, consisted df eighty regiments, which was divided 
into two battalions each, designated as the first and second 

Bach battalion was subdivided into thirteen companies, 
— (twelve companies of fusiliers, of one hundred and forty 
men, and one company of grenadiers composed of one 
hundred and forty-five men. ^*^ 

A great many of these regiments bore the name of a 
province or part of a province, as Guyenne, B^rn, Lan- 
guedoc, la Sarre. 

(i) Montcnlm A (rArjrcnson. 30 jnillct 1756. 

(2) Ordoii nance dii roi. 10 f^vricr 1749 ; Comme on serxmit autrefois^ 
by father Sommervogel, p. 40 ; Le Grand Dictionnaire^ under the word 
Battalion ; Lettres de la Cour de Versailles^ p. 26. 


The troops despatched to New France in 1755, under 
Dieskau, were composed of the second battalions of B6am, 
La Reine, Languedoc and Cayenne ; fifty companies, num- 
bering two thousand and one hundred men. These num- 
bers were diminished by several circumstances. Three 
hundred and thirty men were captured on board Le Lys, 
which reduced Dieskau's contingent to seventeen hundred 
and seventy men. In addition to this, thirty-four men 
died at sea, fifty-seven died in the hospitals of Canada, and 
twenty-seven were killed at the battle of Lake Ceorge, so 
that in the spring of 1756, ^'^ the strength was reduced to 
sixteen hundred and fifty-two. With the arrival of 
Montcalm, however the army was augmented by the second 
battalion of La Sarre, and the second battalion of Royal 
Roussillon, consisting of one thousand and fifty men. 
M. le Chevalier de Montreuil, writing after the arrival of 
the troops made the following recapitulation : La Reine, 
327 men ; La Sarre, 515 ; Royal Roussillon, 520; Langue- 
doc, 326 ; Cuyenne, 492 ; B^arn, 498 = 2678, to which 
were to be added 156 volunteers and 918 recruits, forming 
a total of 3,752. 

Besides les troupes de terre or the battalions seleAed 
from the French regiments, there were les troupes de la 
marine^ so called not because they belonged to the navy, 
but on account of their being under the jurisdiction of the 
Marine department, whilst the battalions of regulars were 
dealt with by the War department. They had been in 
existence for about half a century in New France, and 

(i) Paris Documents^ Vol. X., page 417. 

1756] UI'K 01* MONTCALM I57 

they formed a permanent force, being employed in the 
garrisons and towns, in defending the frontiers of the 
colony and in maintaining good order within its limits. 
Many of the oflScers were of Canadian birth, while some 
were natives of France, bnt were closely connected with 
Canada, either by marriage or by property which they had 
acquired in the colony. They consisted of thirty companies, 
of sixty five men each, forming a total of fifteen hundred 
and fifty soldiers. 

The militia of Canada was composed of all the male 
population from the age of fifteen to fifty. In every 
parish there was a Capitaine de la cdte^ chosen from 
amongst the most able and intelligent of the inhabitants, 
and he was placed at the head of a company which virtu- 
ally included every man fit for military service. 

When requested to do so, the captains were bound to 
summon and seleA the number of men required, and lead 
them to the army. The militia received the same equipment 
as the other soldiers, and during the period of their service 
they were fed by the king. They did not however receive 
any pay, but when called upon to do some corvSes — namely 
in the way of conveyances, they were entitled to a remu- 
neration. ^*^ 

In 1750, M. Fleury d'Eschambault, agent of la Compa- 
gnie des IndeSy had matured a plan for the better organi- 
sation of the militia ; which he submitted during the 
following year to the consideration of the Minister, with 
the approbation and recommendation of M. de la Jonqui&re, 

Malartic. ^ Journal des Campagnes au Canada, p. 38. 

158 1*HE siege of QUEBEC [1756 

then Governor-General. In 1755, M. de Vaudreuil wrote 
to the Minister of Marine on the subject. He recommended 
M. d'Eschambault's suggestions, proposing, in the mean 
time, the creation of a colonel general of Militia, and asking 
for the nomination of M. d'Eschambault to that post. 
Speaking of a draft roll presented by that gentleman, he 
said : " I am sure that if the rolls of the militia were kept 
with the same order and minuteness, I could instantly form 
an idea of the forces at my disposal, in any emergency, 
and adjust my plans accordingly. ^'^ In 1756 the Militia 
of Canada numbered about fourteen thousand. But, except 
at the end of the war, when the final crisis was near at 
hand, there were never more than four thousand militia 
men in active service. At the siege of William-Henry, in 
1757, two thousand nine hundred and eighty were pre- 
sent. ^'^ After Carillon, in 1758, two thousand four hundred 
were sent to lake Champlain. Generally they could not 
be kept in the army during the whole campaig^i, for after 
three or four week's service they had to be sent home to 
gather in the harvest. ^^^ 

Such was the composition of the troops with which M. 
de Montcalm was to deal during the coming campaigns. 

(i) Extraits des Archives des Ministlres de la Marine et de la Guerre^ 
Quebec 1890, p. 68. 

(2) Return of the French army before fort George, called by the 
Uiiglish William-Henry, 3rd August 1757. — Paris Documents, x p 625. 

(3) Montcalm au Ministre, ler septembre, 1858. 



i^N the i6*^ of July 1756, M. de Montcalm left the camp 
^^ at Carillon under the command of M. de L^vis, and 
returned to Montreal where a letter from M. de Vaudreuil 
had re-called him. Since the 27*^ of June, he had travelled 
one hundred and fifty leagues, not including his reconnais- 
sances towards the Lake Champlain frontier. Two days 
after his arrival at Montreal, he left for Frontenac, another 
journey of eighty leagues. The objeA of this new move is 
explained by Montcalm himself in a letter to the Minister 
of War, M. d'Argenson : " The obje<5l which has re-called 
me to Montreal so soon, and causes my departure for 
Frontenac, is a project that appears to me sufficiently 
military, if all the details be well combined, and I leave 
without being assured or convinced of that. It is proposed 
to proceed with the three battalions of La Sarre, Guyenne 
and B&irn, stationed at Frontenac and Niagara, and some 
Canadians who are on shore in the vicinity of Chouagnen, 
to attempt the siege of that place, or at least to make a 
diversion. The Marquis de Vaudreuil has issued, during 
my absence, several orders relative to this expedition, the 
success of which is of the greatest importance. Our engi- 


neers are to reconnoitre the place, and to be prepared to 
report to me thereupon when I arrive. The commander 
of the artillery precedes me some days, as well as M. 
Rigaud de Vaudreuil, brother of the Governor-General, 
who takes up some Marines, Canadians and Indians to 
cover, with M. de Villiers' corps, my camp of observation, 
should I lay siege to the place. I have no need of enlarging 
on all the difficulties of this expedition, which is in fa<5l 
undertaken only on the supposition that the enemy has 
but looo men there, and that this movement must with- 
draw a portion of the force which threatens Carillon. I 
cannot reach Frontenac before the first of August, it is 80 
leagues from here. In order to be successful, we would 
require secrecy and celerity, which are not the virtues of 
the Colony. You may be assured, my Lord, that I readily 
devote myself to this project, and that I count myself as 
nothing on an occasion of so much interest and which has 
appeared to me quite pregnant with obstacles to be sur- 
mounted. Increased diligence on the part of the enemy 
may oblige me, on my arrival at Frontenac to renounce 
this grand project, but we shall have made a diversion.^*^ " 
This letter shows that the projeA of besieging Choua- 
guen was due to M. de Vaudreuil. He had been contem- 
plating it since his arrival in Canada. As early as the 
beginning of July, 1755, he had written to the Minister 
announcing his intention of overthrowing Chouaguen if 
possible. " Chouaguen, he said, is the direA cause of all 

(i) Montcalm au comte d'Argenson, 20 juillet, 1756. Paris Documents, 
X., p. 432. 

175^] ^^^^^ OF MONTCALM l6l 

the troubles that have overtaken the Colony, and of the 
vast expense they have occasioned the King. From the 
destruction of Chouaguen will follow : On the one hand, 
the perfeA attachment of all the Upper country Indians ; 
on the other, a considerable diminution of the expense the 
King annually incurs for the Colony." And Vaudreuil 
never ceased to insist upon the necessity of destroying 
that powerful centre of English influence. As the cele- 
brated Roman of old, he could have finished all his letters 
with the stereotyped utterance : Delcnda est Chouaguen. 

True it was that Chouaguen— or Oswego, as the English 
called it, — was a source of peril and apprehension for New- 
France. It had been established by the English in 1727, 
at the confluence of the river Oswego and lake Ontario. 
At first it was represented simply as a commercial post. 
But within a few years it had become a fort, where a gar- 
rison was stationed, and armed sloops were built and 
launched on the lake. The French government had often 
remonstrated with the English against what was deemed 
an encroachment, but in vain. Chouaguen was so im- 
portant, so useful for the enemies of New-France, that 
they were naturally anxious to retain it. From that post 
they could extend their domination over the lake regions, 
exercise their influence over the Upper country Indians, 
ruin the trade of Canada with the West, and at a given 
moment, cut all communications between that colony and 
her forts in the Ohio and Mississipi valleys. Therefore, 
Vaudreuil was acting judiciously when he determined to 
wrest the place from the grasp of the English. 

It appears that Montcalm was not altogether enthu- 
I— II 


siastic over that plan. In his letter to the Minister which 
we have already mentioned, he enlarges principally on the 
difficulties and hazard of the enterprise, which to him 
seemed " pregnant with obstacles/' Some days later, writ- 
ing to M. de Levis from Frontenac, after having set forth 
the plan of campaign against Chouaguen, he adds : " If I 
do nothing of what I explain here, don't be surprised. One 
has to be rash or a good citizen to risk such an undertak- 
ing with an artillery inferior to that of the besieged, less 
troops, and an awful distress as regards victuals. All this 
is for you alone.'' ^'^ Even after having won the game, 
contrary to his anticipation, he felt bound to apologize for 
his viAory, achieved against the scientific principles of 
war. He wrote : " My operations are so strongly against 
general rules that the audacity of this enterprise would 
be deemed rashness in Europe : therefore, the only favor 
I beg from you, my Lord, is to assure His Majesty that, 
if he ever gives me some command in his armies, as I hope 
he will, I shall follow very different principles." ^'^ In this 
we see the classically-trained officer, a little puzzled yet 
with the strangeness and irregularities of American warfare. 
Montcalm's diffidence and doubts at the outset have 
been noted by some historians. Speaking of the siege of 
Chouaguen, Gameau says : " Montcalm gave to it only a 
half-hearted approbation, and liad not a great faitli in its 
success." Afterwards the general seemed to have forgotten 
his former hesitation. In 1758, writing to the minister 

(i) Montcalm d I/^vis, au fort de Frontenac, le 30 juillet 1759. 

(2) Montcalm au Ministrc, 28 aofit 1756, Dussieux, Le Canada sous la 
domination franqaise, p. 155. 


about some difficulties with M. de Vaudreuil, he said: 
" You may, my Lord, assure his Majesty that diversity of 
opinions will never injure his service, so far as I am 
concerned. It is to this diverseness of opinions and to the 
respectful firmness I always infuse into it, that the Choua- 
guen expedition is due. The Marquis of Vaudreuil, after 
having desired it, was ready to renounce it, and I encou- 
raged him only by memoirs." ^*^ Evidently there was a 
good deal of forgetfulness in that statement. 

We do not write this to underrate Montcalm's value as 
a military man. Diffidence and caution were natural and 
not to be censured in a European general assuming 
command and commencing operations in a new country 
and under conditions very different from those he had been 
placed in before. Montcalm was a brave soldier and a 
skilled commander. His doubts about the soundness of 
the undertaking did not prevent him from executing it 
with admirable vigor and effectiveness. Arrived at Mont- 
real from Carillon, on the ig^^j he left for Frontenac on 
the 21"* after having conferred with M. de Vaudreuil and 
received his instructions. On the 27^ he was at la 
Presentation, now Ogdensburg, and met ambassadors from 
the Five Nations, with whom he held a council. On the 
28*^ he left that place, and arrived at Frontenac on the 
following day, where he found the battalions of La Sarre 
and Guyenne. On the same day, a detachment of La 
Sarre left for the Bay of Niaour^, on the south shore ^*^ 

(i) Montcalm au Ministre, 28 juiUet 1758. 

(2) Now Sacketts Harbour ; that place is 45 miles distant from Fron- 
tenac, the Kingston of modem times. 


of the lake where M. de Villiers and M. de Rigaud were 
encamped. M. de Villiers had been sent by the governor 
during the month of May, with six hundred men, to 
observe the movements of the enemy and strike a blow at 
them if a favorable occasion presented itself. He had very 
hot skirmishes with a convoy commanded by lieutenant- 
colonel Bradstreet. On the 22"^ of July, he was joined by 
M. des Combles, engineer, and four pickets drawn from 
the battalions of La Sarre, Guyenne and B6am. With 
four hundred men he escorted M. des Combles to the 
neighbourhood of Chouagnen in order to reconnoitre the 
position. M. de Rigaud, governor of Three-Rivers and 
brother of the Governor-General, reached Niaour6 bay on 
the 27^^ with a few hundred men and took command of 
M. de Villiers' force. They were to act as the vafnguard 
of Montcalm's army. 

From the 29*^ of July to the 4^ of August, the General 
reviewed the troops and made preparations for their depart- 
ure. On the 5^** he left Frontenac ^'^ with the first division 
consisting of the battalions of La Sarre and Guyenne, and 
reached the bay of Niaour6 on the 6^^ where the second 
division, composed of the battalion of B6am, a body of 
Militia and the artillery, arrived two days after. The first 
division embarked on one hundred and twenty, and the 
second division on ninety-nine bateaux. ^^^ The army 
numbered about 3200 men ^^^ of whom fourteen hundred 

(i) Journal de Afontcalm, p. 90. 

(2) Malar tic ^ p. 69. 

(3) Journal de Montcalm^ p. 90. 


and eighty-six were regulars, two hundred Indians, the 
remainder being Marine troops and Canadians. 

Montcalm conducted the operations with the greatest 
activity and the most indomitable energy. He sent for- 
ward immediately M. de Rigaud with all the Indians and 
aboitt five hundred Canadians with instructions to find a 
place suitable for the landing of artillery. He followed on 
the 9*^ with the first division, and joined the vanguard at 
a place named V Anse-aux-Cabanes^ three leagues from 
Chouaguen. There he learnt that a cove fit for landing 
had been found half a league from the enemy's fort. He 
sent word to the second division urging it to join him at 
once. On the lo*** he sent M. de Rigaud to take posses- 
sion of the cove, where he arrived himself at eleven o'clock 
at night. He took no rest, supervised the landing of troops, 
and at once direAed the construction of a four gun battery, 
near the shore, to protect the landing place. MM. des 
Combles and Desandrouins, the two engineers, started 
before dawn with an escort to the vicinity of the fort to 
reconnoitre its approaches. Unfortunately, on their return, 
one of the Indians mistook M. des Combles for an English- 
men, in the twilight, and shot him dead. 

The defences of Chouaguen or Oswego were composed 
of three forts. The first one named Ontario was built 
at the mouth of the river Oswego, on the eastern side. 
It consisted of a square of thirty toises on each side, the 
faces of which, broken {brisies) in the centre, were flanked 
by a redent placed at the point of the brisure. It was 
construAed of pickets 18 inches in diameter, hewn on 
both sides, well joined together, and 8 to 9 feet above the 


ground. The ditch surrounding the fort was i8 feet wide 
and 8 ft. deep. Loop-holes and embrasures were cut in 
the pickets on a level with the earth thrown upon the 
berm and a wooden scaffolding ran all around, so as to 
admit of firing over the top. There were eight guns and 
four mortars for double grenades. On the western side of 
the river, facing the first fort, stood Old fort Chouaguen, 
also called fort Pepperell. It consisted of a house with 
machicoulis, and perforated on the ground floor and first 
story, the walls of which were three feet thick, and sur- 
rounded at a distance of three toises by another wall four 
feet thick and ten high, perforated and flanked by two 
large square towers. There was likewise a raised work 
which proteAed the fort on the land side. Here the 
English had placed i8 pieces of cannon and 15 mortars 
and howitzers. ^*^ The third fort hardly deserved such a 
designation ; it was a poor constniAion made of pickets, 
ere<5led beyond Old Chouaguen, on the height command- 
ing that place. It was called Fort George or New Choua- 

Montcalm established his camp half a league from Fort 
Ontario. And on the morning of the 11^'* August, he 
diredled the opening of a road through the woods for the 
passage of the artillery. The work was executed in such 
a rapid manner that within twenty-four hours it was 
finished. In the mean time the general sent M. de Rigaud 
with the Canadians and the Indians in the direction of the 
river, above fort Ontario, in order to invest it. Three armed 

(i) Journal du si^ge de Chouaguen, Paris Documents, X, p, ^57. 

1756] hlVE OV MONTCALM 167 

sloops from Chouaguen harbour fired at the French camp, 
but were silenced by the four gun battery. On the 12^ 
the road was ready, and B6am having arrived with the 
artillery, Montcalm strengthened the battery on the beach, 
and gave orders for the opening of trenches. He put 
M. de Bourlamaque in command of that work with MM. 
Desandrouins and Pouchot as engineers. On the morning 
of that day letters written by Colonel Mercer, commander 
at Chouaguen, were intercepted by Indian scouts and 
brought to Montcalm who found therein important infor- 
mation on the numbers and situation of the garrison. At 
midnight the trench was opened. It was a parallel of 100 
toises distant about 90 toises from the fort. On the 13^ 
the eredlion of batteries was begun ; the enemy opened fire 
on the works and kept it very briskly until five o'clock, 
when it ceased entirely. .Colonel Mercer had ordered the 
garrison to evacuate fort Ontario and to join him on the 
other side of the river at Old Chouaguen. Immediately 
M. de Montcalm entered the abandoned fort and gave 
orders for the construAion of a battery of twenty guns on 
a height commanding the river and the two forts on the 
other side. On the 14*'* this battery opened fire against 
the place at 6 o'clocjc, arid M. de Montcalm ordered M. de 
Rigaud to cross the river at once, with his Canadians and 
Indians, and cut the enemy's communications between Old 
Chouaguen and fort George. This move was brilliantly 
executed. The river was deep and the current rapid. 
Rigaud and his men " plunged in, some swimming, others 
wading up to the waist or neck, and reached his destination, 
without the enemy's fire being able to arrest a single 


Canadian or Indian, " ^'^ At nine o'clock a cannon ball 
from the french battery killed the English commander, 
Colonel Mercer. This was the last stroke. The white 
flag was hoisted soon after and lieutenant-colonel Little- 
hales who had succeeded the unfortunate Mercer, asked for 
^ capitulation. At eleven the articles were signed, and at 
one the place was surrendered to Montcalm with its stores, 
artillery, ammunition, etc. The garrison was made prisoner 
of war. 

The capture of Chouagen was a brilliant achievement, 
for it had long been a serious menace to New France, and 
a source of constant apprehension and alarm to the colony. 
But now Chouagen was no more. ^'^ The mighty and ma- 
jestic Ontario had passed to the dominion of France, and 
from Frontenac to Niagara the lily banner floated proudly 
over its waters. 

These glorious tidings sent a thrill of pride and ardent 
joy through the whole colony. Montcalm naturally felt 
elated by his brilliant victory. He wrote to L6vis : " I had 
left, my dear chevalier, with ten belts and one hundred 
strings of wampum, few troops, even less artillery, militia 
men badly armed ; but I had a supply of strings. There- 
fore I am master of the three forts of Chouaguen, which I 
demolish, of sixteen hundred prisoners, five flags, one hun- 
dred guns, three military chests, victuals for two years, 
six armed sloops, two hundred bateaux, and an astonish- 
ing boot}' made by our Canadians and Indians. All this 

(i) Journal du Si^ge de Chouaguen, Paris Documents, x. p. 460. 
(2) The forts were destroyed immediately by the French. 

1756] I-"**K OV MONTCALM 169 

costs only thirty men killed and wounded. ^'^ The expe- 
dition will be deemed useful and brilliant by any one who 
reviews the detail of my operations, and appreciates justly 
the courage and good will of our french troops. I have 
never seen such exertions at works accompanied with so 
much cheerfulness . . . Since fifteen days, I have gone to 
bed three times, and it is only yesterday that I have eaten 
beef given me for charity's sake, because I had neglected 
myself." <'> 

On the site of his victory, Montcalm whose soul was 
truly religious, ordered a cross to be erected with these 
words : In hoc stgno vtncunty and also a pole bearing the 
King's arms and the inscription : Manibus date liliaplenis. 
The general, it will be seen, was not only a christian and 
a soldier, but also a scholar. 

Six days after the fall of Chouaguen the forts were razed 
to the ground. The army left on the 2i** . On the fol- 
lowing day Montcalm ordered a Te Deum to be sung at 
the Bay of Niaour6, and on the 23*^^, he left Frontenac 
for Montreal where he arrived the 27***. After meeting 
Vaudreuil, he proceeded to Carillon to join L6vis and take 
command of the army on the lake Champlain frontier for 
the remainder of the campaign. But the enemy made no 
effort in this direction, and at the end of October, Mont- 
calm returned to Montreal. Within four months he had 

(i) Of these six only were killed, and the remainder slightly wounded. 
The English loss was 150 wounded or killed, including several soldiers 
who, during the cnpitnlntion, fell unfortiiMatelj' into the hands of the 
Indians in their attempt to escape through the woods at the time of the 

(2) Montcalm h Uvis, au camp de Chouaguen^ le 17 aoOt 1756. 


travelled over 1800 miles through woods, rapids and lakes, 
won a signal victory, captured an army, destroyed three 
forts, and protected Canada's southern frontiers from 

His name had become famous, and the echo of his praise 
was heard beyond the sea in the court of Versailles, in 
Paris and throughout la douce France until it reached the 
lonely hearth of the old chateau in Languedoc, and caused 
joy and gratefulness to two loving tender women's hearts 
to whom the Marquis de Montcalm was everything in the 



UNFORTUNATELY, this brilliant campaign which should 
have renewed the vigour of the colony, marked the 
commencement of a series of misunderstandings between 
Vaudreuil and Montcalm which proved so baneful to the 

A spirit of rivalry was manifest from the beginning 
between the regular and colonial troops, which became 
more injurious after this event, through the part which 
the governor and the general took in this paltry state of 

On the 20*'' of August, six days after the fall of Choua- 
guen, Vaudreuil addressed a letter to the Minister of War 
which revealed the feelings he entertained towards the 
regular troops. " The land forces, said he, have displayed 
their wonted zeal, but the enemy did not afford them an 
opportunity for operating. The Marquis of Montcalm had, 
besides, made the most favorable arrangements for his 
expedition. Our troops, the Canadians and ludians, fought 
with the courage natural to thcni. They have all signal- 
ized themselves. The good disposition of my brother 
and of the Colonial officers supplied them with resources 


to sarmoinit all ofastacles. Tlicy Ita^re cootribated in no 
small degree to the most brillEant niflix j witicii we Iia^e 
achieved.'^ u) ^^ gg^ days later he wrote again : ^ There 
has been a great d^ of talk h«e ; but I wffl not do myself 
the honor ci repeating it to yon, espec^ILy as it relates to 
mys^. I know how to do violence to my s^4ove. The 
measnres I took assnred onr vidory, in spite of opposition. 
If I had been less vigilant and firm, Oswego wonM still be 
in the hands of the Kngjish. I cannot snffici^itly con- 
gratnlate myself on the zeal which my brother and the 
CanadiaTTS and Indians showed on this occasion ; for with- 
ont them my orders wonid have been given in vain.'' ^^ 

This was not a correct representation of ficts. The 
regnlars had done their share of the work gallantly. The 
three engineers ]kOL des Combles, Desandronins^ and 
Ponchot wore r^^nlars, they rendered most osefol services^ 
and one of them was kiUed. M. de Bonriamaqne com- 
manded in the trenches and was wonnded. The soldiers 
picked from the three battalions exposed themselves in the 
digging, and sustained the enemy^s fire for many hours. 
The battery was served by sixty giinners, of La Sarre, 
Beam and Gavenne with uftv men to assist them. '-^ After 
having read almost every report, relation and journal bear- 
ing on the Chouaguen expedition, it seems evident that, 
without the regulars, officers and soldiers, the siege would 

(t) Voudremi i d'ArgeiKMn, 20 aout 1756. — Pitris DocuTtttnts, X. p, 

(2) V;uidreml an ministze de la Marine. ler septembie ij^.—Park- 
t. MonUaLm ^nd WtUfe, /. p, 460, 

(3) Uf a rartir . p. 73- 

1756] UFK OK MONTCALM 1^3 

have been utterly impossible. This does not appear in 
Vaudreuil's letter. "Our troops the Canadians and In- 
dians," seem to have done all ; " my brother and the 
colonial officers " have wrought wonders ; they " all sign- 
alized themselves." But the poor regulars have not had 
" an opportunity " ; so, notwithstanding their " wonted 
zeal," they could do nothing. This was neither just nor 
generous. And the governor's appreciation of the cam- 
paign, if indiscreetly divulged, was calculated to cause 
jealousy on the part of Montcalm and his lieutenants. 

VaudreuiPs letter furnishes an example of Colonial pre- 
judice, but the Minister of war was not left long in doubt 
as to the opinions of the French officers. On the 28*^ of 
August, after Montcalm returned to Montreal, he wrote to 
the Minister in these words : 

" Our land forces acquitted themselves with incredible 
zeal of all I required of them. Therefore, my Lord, I 
beseech you to grant me the favors I ask of you for them." 
Then he turns to the Militia : " I have usefully employed 
them (the colonial officers) and the Militia of the country, 
not however, at any works exposed to the enemy's fire. It 
is a troop knowing neither discipline nor subordination. 
Within six months I would make grenadiers of them, and 
now I would carefully abstain from placing much depend- 
ance on them as the unfortunate M. de Dieskau did, by 
having given too much ear to the confident talk of Cana- 
dians, who believe themselves in all respe<5ls, the first 
nation in the world. And my respectable Governor-General 
is a native of the country, was married there, and is every- 
where surrounded by relatives." 

174 1*HE SIEGE OF QUEBEC [175^ 

The aspersions cast upon tlie Canadians were unjust. 
They had their failings, but for partisan warfare they were 
not to be excelled, and it was the duty of the French general 
to have utilized them according to their abilities. 

In the same letter, Montcalm wrote : " The Indians are 
enraptured of me, and learning that I return to the camp 
at Carillon, has induced them to march thither. The 
Canadians are satisfied with me ; their oflBcers esteem me, 
fear me, and would be well pleased could French men and 
their general be dispensed with, which would also gratify 
me. I have deemed it my duty to express myself pleased 
to the Keeper of the Seals, with all the Colonial troops, 
and not to appear dissatisfied with anything. " ^'^ This is 
the language of Montcalm. Let us hear Vaudreuil : " M. 
de Montcalm has got so quick a temper that he goes as far 
as to strike the Canadians. I had urgently recommended 
him to see that the land ofi&cers treat them well ; but how 
could he keep them in order, if he cannot restrain his own 

vivacity ? Could a worse example be given The 

Canadians are good-tempered and submissive ; but the 
Indians are touchy. They have bitterly complained about 
the high-handed fashion in which M. de Montcalm dealt 
with them at Chouaguen." ^^^ 

Amidst these contradictory utterances and reports it is 
difficult to ascertain the truth. They show, however, that 
the breach between the governor and the general was grad- 
ually widening. Montcalm was impulsive, but we can 

(i) Montcalm si M. le comte d'Argenson, 28 aofit 1756. 

(2) Vaudreuil au comte d'Argenson, Montreal, 23 octobre 1756. 

1756] LIF^ OF MONl^CALM 175 

scarcely think that he would resort to striking the Cana- 
dians, at least without extraordinary provocation. Further 
evidence of discord is furnished in a letter written by 
Montcalm on the first of November : 

" The arrangement of our quarters has been subjected 
to great variations. M. de Vaudreuil had allowed me 
choice of the battalions. After I left, he changed four 
battalions, either through ignorance, or to cause me dis- 
gust .... Chevalier de L^vis, like me, receives orders and 
despatches written with inexcusable duplicity yet exposing 
us to blame in case of failure. This is not by way of com- 
plaint, for I write nothing about it to M. de Machault, but 
communicate to you my critical position, which Chevalier 
de L6vis has mentioned particularly to his relatives." ^'^ 
Nothing could be more unfortunate for the colony than this 
ill-will between Montcalm and Vaudreuil. 

Montcalm was, no doubt, too much inclined to take 
offence about expressions that were never calculated to 
wound his feelings. For example, after the fall of Choua- 
guen, the bishop of Quebec, Mgr. de Pontbriand, issued a 
vtandement in which this worthy prelate distributed his 
encomiums to the rulers of the colony and its brave de- 
fenders. In this pastoral letter he praised the Governor, 
" who had given to operations a general impulse," and 
who " conjointly with the first Magistrate of the Colony 
(Bigot) had planned that expedition and put it under the 
command of an officer distinguished by his name, his rank, 

(i) Montcalm au Comte d'Argenson, icr Novembre 1756. — Paris Docu- 


his authority and genius.'* He spoke of M. de Rigaud, the 
commander of the vanguard as " one of our governors 
whom you justly respect and love." He went on to say 
that " the Canadians, the troops from France and from the 
Colony, even the Indians had rivalled in zeal for their 
country and his Majesty's service." In another part he 
alluded to the " weak minds " who had considered at first 
the enterprise " as too great for our strength." He closed 
his letter in ordering a Te Deum to be solemnly sung 
through all the diocese. Montcalm felt aggrieved at this 
Mandement. ^*^ Apparently he considered that his personal 
share in the glorious deed was not sufficiently extolled, and 
that he was not sufficiently pointed out as the victorious 
general, but rather confounded in the uniform praise given 
to the whole army. Perhaps he thought too much was 
made of M. de VaudreuiPs direction in military matters. 
It may have been because the Canadians were mentioned 
first in the enumeration of the troops, or possibly that he 
regarded the expression " weak minds " as applied to him- 
self, which was surely not the intention of the Bishop. 
Whatever may have been the cause, he was annoyed, and 
on the 27*** of August, he wrote to L^vis, saying : ** Our 
friend the Bishop has just issued the most ridiculous 
mandement in the world, but don't mention it for it draws 
forth the admiration of the whole of Canada. ^^^ It is much 
to be regretted that such an intelligent man, such a noble 
character, should have been so suspicious ! 

(i) Mandements des fviques de Quibec, II, p. 10. 

(2) I^ttres de Montcalm au ChevaUer de I,6vis, p. 36. 

1757] ^^^^ ^P MONTCALM 177 

The first part of the winter of 1756-57 was uneventful. 
Montcalm was at Montreal with Vaudreuil and L^vis. 
Bourlamaque was at Quebec. On the 31** of December, 
the Governor and M. de L^vis left for that city, ^'^ and 
Montcalm himself made a short trip to the capital in 
January. We find in his Journal some interesting details 
of the life that was led there by the high officials and the 
leaders of society : " I left for Quebec on the third, says 
he. M. I'Intendant lives there in grandeur, and has 
given two fine balls where I have seen over eighty ladies 
or demoiselles very amiable, and elegantly dressed. I think 
Quebec is a town of very good style, and I don't believe 
that we have in Prance more than a dozen cities that could 
rank higher as regards society. As for numbers the popu- 
lation is not more than twelve thousand. The strong taste 
of M. I'Intendant for gambling, the extreme complaisance 
of M. de Vaudreuil, and the regard that I must show for 
two men vested with the King's authority, have caused 
gambling of the most dangerous kind to take place. Many 
officers will bitterly feel it before long." This is the first 
intimation that we find in Montcalm's writings of a state 
of affairs which grew worse and worse until the final crisis. 

M. de Vaudreuil was taken ill at Three Rivers as he 
was proceeding to Montreal, and for some days he was in 
great danger. The news reached Quebec on the 28*^ of 
January. Thereupon the bishop recommended the gov- 
ernor to the prayers of the faithful, ordered the Holy 
Sacrament to be exposed in the Cathedral and a procession 

(i) They spent there the greater part of January. 
I— 12 


to be made for his recovery. Montcalm mentions this 
circumstance in his Journal and makes this reflexion : 
" People who are uninformed have been very uneasy and 
disturbed as to what would become of the Colony, in the 
event of M. de VaudreuiPs death." 

On the third of February Montcalm was again in Mont- 
real, where M. de Vaudreuil arrived on the 14^^, having 
now fairly recovered. ^'^ He at once busied himself with the 
organisation of an enterprise against William-Henry. The 
governor thought it possible to surprise the fort in winter 
and storm it by means of a strong detachment composed 
principally of Canadians and Indians. Montcalm, who was 
not informed of the project until the last moment, did not 
approve of it. His opinion is recorded in his Journal : 
" This detachment, " says he, " seems to have been decided 
upon in a spirit of prejudice, of intrigue and jealousy 
against the land troops. Notwithstanding M. de Mont- 
calm's repeated remonstrance, it has not been deemed advis- 
able to employ in it the superior officers or the engineer 
of the regulars. Its object does not appear definite and 
safe enough to warrant the great expense and fatigue that 
will follow, and the consumption of victuals, when they 
are scarce, may cause the ruin of this colony if Milord 
Loudon moves early. All this has been told to M. le 
Marquis de Vaudreuil, but he thinks of nothing else than 
to give a big detachment to his brother, and he relies for 
success upon M. Dumas' intelligence, and the luck and 

(i) Montcalm writes in his Journal : *' Le Marquis de Vaudreuil is 
arrived well enough and able to work as much as before, that is to say 
little." Journal de Monlcalm, p. 153. 

1757] ^^^^ O^' MONTCALM I79 

miracles which have heretofore preserved Canada in spite 
of the endless faults that have been committed. This 
detachment will cost at the least two hundred thousand 
icHs and according to many people, one million of francs, 
which would not be surprising owing to bad administration 
and to the habit of enriching private individuals at the 
King's expense." ^'^ 

Montcalm asked the governor to place M. de L^vis or 
M. de Bourlamaque at the head of the detachment; but 
he refused. He offered to go himself as far as Carillon in 
order to direA the enterprise, and met the same answer. 
At last a long explanation took place between the two 
leaders. " I spoke to the governor, says Montcalm, frankly 
and firmly, without naming any one of those who very 
likely busy themselves with destroying his confidence in 
me, hoping thus to win his trust. I told him how necessary 
it was that I should communicate to him my reflexions 
and opinions, adding that, in the mean time, he would 
always find me disposed to help him and to make his plans 
succeed, even when his opinion, which is bound to prevail, 
should differ frorii mine ; that the confidence placed in me 

^i^ Journal de Montcalm, p. 152.— It should be remarked here that the 
pUDlication known as Montcalm'' s Journal contains numerous parts of 
which Montcalm is not the author. Montcalm's Journal is very often 
no \.\i\n% more than the Journal of Bougainville. For example, the narration 
of the William-Henry Campaign is entirely the work of Bougainville. 
A close study of Bougainville's own Journal shows, it appears, that it is 
a duplicate of the Journal of Montcalm, or the latter is a duplicate of his. 
So it would be very hard to say pasitively whether in such or such a 
passage we have Montcalm's words and judgments or Bougainville's. 
See on that important point, an interesting note of M. de K6rallain in 
the bibliographical part of the present work, published in the sixth 


by the Keeper of the Seals induced me to hope he would 
impart his plans to me sooner. I told him also that he 
should not be surprised if I had shown some warmth in 
offering your services and mine ; that I approved of his 
choice, but that I owed it to myself and to you to remove any 
doubt as to your zeal." ^'^ All this is additional evidence 
that relations were already strained between the governor 
and the general. 

M. de Rigaud's expedition was partly successful. He 
did not storm William Henry, the garrison being on its 
guard, but he burnt four brigantines, two long-boats, three 
hundred and fifty bateaux, a carriage, a saw-mill, sheds and 
magazines enclosed by a stockaded fort, and an immense 
supply of firewood. At the end of March he had returned 
to Montreal. 

Notwithstanding the unsettled state of affairs at this 
time, the winter months were shortened by festivities and 
pleasant entertainments in military and official circles. 
Montcalm chronicled them for Bourlamaque and his dear 
ones at Candiac. To Bourlamaque he wrote : " On Wed- 
nesday there was an Assembly at Madame Varin's ; on 
Friday the Chevalier de L6vis gave a ball. He invited 
sixty-five ladies, and got only thirty, with a great crowd 
of men. Rooms well lighted, excellent order, excellent 
service, plenty of refreshments of every sort all through 
the night ; and the company stayed till seven in the 
morning. As for me, I went to bed early. I had that day 

(i) Montcalm d Bourlamaque.— Montreal, le 20 f^vrier 1757. — Lettres 
de Bourlamaque, p. 144. 

1757] ^^^^ OP MONTCALM l8l 

eight ladies at a supper given to Madame Varin. To- 
morrow I shall have half-a-dozeu at another supper, given 
to I don't know whom, but incline to think it will be La 
Roche Beaucour. The gallant Chevalier is to give us still 
another ball." <'> 

Montcalm's correspondence with his family was also 
very adlive. He sent letters as often as he could. They 
were full of tender effusions : " Think of me affeAionately," 
he wrote to his wife ; " give love to my girls. I hope next 
year I may be with you all. I love you tenderly, dearest." 
And another time : " There is not an hour in the day 
when I do not think of you, my mother and my children." 
He gives his family a sketch of his life in Canada : ^' I 
must live creditably, and so I do ; sixteen persons at table 
every day. Once a fortnight I dine with the Governor- 
General and with Chevalier de L6vis, who lives well too. 
He has given three grand balls. As for me, up to Lent I 
gave, besides dinners, great suppers, with ladies, three 
times a week. They lasted till two in the morning ; and 
then there was dancing, to which companj- came uninvited, 
but sure of a welcome from those who had been at supper. 
It is very expensive, not very amusing, and often tedious. 
At Quebec, where we spent a month, I gave receptions or 
parties, often at the Intendant's house. I like my gallant 
Chevalier de L6vis very much. Bourlamaque was a good 
choice ; he is steady and cool, with good parts. Bougain- 
ville has talent, a warm head, and a warm heart ; he will 
ripen in time. Write to Madame Cormier that I like her 

(i) Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe, I, p. 457. 


husband ; he is perfeAly well, and as impatient for peace 
as I am. Love to my daughters, and all affection and 
respect to my mother. I live only in the hope of joining 
you all again. Nevertheless, Montreal is as good a place 
as Alais even in time of peace, and better now, because 
the Government is here ; for the Marquis de Vaudreuil, 
like me, spent only a month at Quebec. As for Quebec, 
it is as good as the best cities of France, except ten or so. 
Clear sky, bright sun ; neither spring nor autumn, only 
summer and winter. July, August, and September, hot 
as in Languedoc : winter insupportable ; one must keep 
always indoors. The ladies spirituelles^ galantes^ devotes. 
Gambling at Quebec, dancing and conversation at Mont- 
real. My friends, the Indians, who are often unbearable, 
and whom I treat with perfeA tranquillity and patience, 
are fond of me. If I were not a sort of General, though 
very subordinate to the Governor, I could gossip about the 
plans of the campaign, which, it is likely, will begin on the 
tenth or fifteenth of May. I worked at the plan of the last 
affair {Rigaud^s expedition to Fort Willia?pi-Henry)^ which 
might have turned out better, though good as it was. I 
wanted only eight hundred men. If I had had my way. 
Monsieur de L6vis or de Bougainville would have had 
charge of it. However, the thing was all right, and in good 
hands. The Governor, who is extremely civil to me, gave 
it to his brother ; he thought him more used to winter 
marches. Adieu, my heart ; I adore and love you ! " ^*^ 
Montcalm's letters give a good idea of the intellect and 

(i) Parkman, Montcalm and Wot/e^ I, p. 455. 

1757] ^^^'^ ^^ MONTCALM 183 

charaAer of their author. They are rapid, sometimes 
abrupt, full of brilliant flashes of thought and expres- 
sion, often sarcastic, now and then eloquent, and always 

, «,,(„„„ .//„, ^■, A,„„„„.,ii: 




^T^HE efforts of New France during the campaign of 1757 
* were direAed against William Henry or Fort George. 
This fort was built near the shore of lake George, called by 
the French St-Sacrement. It was " an irregular bastioned 
square, formed by embankments of gravel surmounted by 
a rampart of heavy logs, laid in tiers crossed one upon 
another, the interstices filled with earth. The lake prote<5led 
it on the north, the marsh on the east, and ditches with 
chevaux-de-f rise on the south and west. Seventeen cannons, 
great and small, besides several mortars were mounted 
upon it." ^*^ Fort William Henry was regarded as a perma- 
nent danger to Canada. From it detachments were sent 
against the borders of lake Champlain, and under its walls 
were prepared expeditions against Carillon, Fort St-Fr6- 
d6ric and the southern frontier of the colony. There, if 
possible, should be struck a blow as destruAive as that 
which had shattered Oswego a year before. 

Early in the spring preparations were begun. The 

(i) Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe^ I, p. 495. 


reinforcements expe<5led from France had not arrived but 
Vaudreuil and Montcalm did their best with such resources 
as they had at their disposal. A camp was formed at 
Carillon during the month of May under the command of 
Bourlamaque. On the 4^ of July M. de L6vis left St-John, 
with four battalions, for that fort where he arrived on the 
7^. On the 9*^ M. de Montcalm went to pay a visit to the 
Indians at the Lake of Two-Mountains, and, the day after, 
at Sault St-Louis ; he chanted the war song a " long and 
tedious ceremony" and on the 12^ he left Montreal for 
Carillon where he made in conjun<5lion with MM. de L^vis 
and Bourlamaque, the final dispositions for the opening 
of the campaign. The whole force intended to lay siege to 
William Henry did not assemble until the last days of 
July. It consisted of the six battalions of regulars. La 
Reine, Languedoc, La Sarre, Guyenne, Royal-Roussillon, 
and B6ani, divided into three brigades, with a detachment 
of marines, amounting to three thousand and eighty-one 
men. The militia, composed of seven brigades, numbered 
two thousand nine hundred and forty six; the artillery, 
one hundred and eighty eight, and the Indians one thou- 
sand eight hundred and six, forming a total of eight 
thousand and twenty-one men. ^'^ 

On the 30'** of July all the preparations were complete. 
Montcalm divided his forces into two bodies, placing one 
division under the command of L6vis which was to proceed 
by way of land on the north west shore of the lake, and 

(i) nougaiiiville d M. de Paulmy, 19 aoiit 1756.— /'rtr/j Documents, 
X, p. 607. 

1757] ^^^E O^ MONTCALM 1 87 

the other was to embark on bateaux. The L6vis detach- 
ment composed of nearly 3,000 men, regulars, marine, 
militia and Indians, began its march on the 30^ at day 
break. On the i*^ of August, the main division, com- 
manded by Montcalm himself, embarked on 250 bateaux. 
On the 2"^ the two divisions met at the bay of Ganaousk6, 
at two o'clock in the morning. At noon the army moved 
again, one division on land, the other on water. The 
landing place was reached at night, one league from Fort 
George. On the 3'^ all the troops landed. M. de L6vis 
marched towards the Lydius or Fort Edward road, in order 
to stop possible reinforcements coming from General 
Webb's army stationed at that fort, which was only four- 
teen miles distant from the lake. The main body followed 
in three divisions, M. de Montcalm in the centre, M. de 
Rigaud on the right and M. de Bourlamaque on the left. 
The siege was begun on the 4^^. M. de Bourlamaque was 
put in charge of the works, with MM. Desandrouins and 
de Lotbini^re as engineers. The trench was opened during 
the night and pushed with great vigor. M. de Montcalm 
had made his dispositions so well that with a comparatively 
small army for such an undertaking, he had virtually 
invested the place and was ready to meet any force coming 
to its rescue. On the sixth, the first battery began to 
play on the walls of William Henry. The day before, 
Indian scouts had brought to Montcalm a letter taken from 
the body of an English courier killed by them on his way 
from Lydius to William Henry. This letter was addressed 
by General Webb's aide-de-camp to the commander of the 
fort, intimating that the general did not deem it advisable 


in his present position, to try to join him, or to send 
reinforcements before having been reinforced himself by 
the provincial troops. He advised the general to make the 
best conditions possible in the event of his not receiving 
aid in dne time. 

When the battery began to fire on the morning of the 
6***, Montcalm thought it a favourable opportunity to send 
this letter to the commander of fort William Henry. 

The commanding officer was the valiant Lieutenant- 
Colonel Monro, a Scotch veteran. The force under his 
orders numbered two thousand two hundred men. General 
Webb was at Fort Edward, with three thousand six hun- 
dred soldiers and could muster " by stripping all the forts 
below " four thousand five hundred. But he did not move. 

On the 7^^ Montcalm received a list of favours bestowed 
on the French troops ; he was honoured with the red rib- 
bon. ^'^ This news created great enthusiasm in the French 
army and the General was complimented on every side, 
even by his savage allies, who stated that they were 
delighted at the distinAion bestowed on their Father by 
the grand Ononthio. 

The second battery of eleven guns had opened fire on 
the morning of this day. The havoc wrought by the 
French artillery was dreadful. The walls were partly 
breached, and the English guns were disabled. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Munro had lost three hundred men, killed or 
wounded, since the beginning of the siege. And, worst of 
a 1, small-pox broke out in the fort. In such a desperate 

(i) Knight commander of the order of St. Louis. 

1757] ^^^^* O^ MONTCALM 1 89 

situation, Miinro and his staff, after having held a council 
of war, decided to surrender. On the 9^^ of August, at 
nine o'clock in the morning, the white flag was hoisted on 
the shaken ramparts of William Henry, and an ofl&cer was 
sent to propose terms of capitulation. Montcalm, " after 
having agreed with him on the principal points, notified 
him that he could not pledge his word to any of them 
before the Indians had accepted them, for which purpose 
he forthwith called a general council at which he explained 
the conditions upon which the English were offering to 
surrender, and those he was prepared to grant them. He 
demanded of the chiefs their consent and whether they 
could answer for their young men not violating the terms. 
The chiefs unanimously assured him that they would 
approve all he would do, and would prevent their young 
men committing any disorder." ^'^ That Montcalm's appre- 
hensions were well founded was soon to be seen. The 
articles of capitulation were, in brief, the following : the 
troops of the garrison were to march out with their arms 
and other honours of war, and. were pledged not to serve 
against France for eighteen months ; all the artillery, 
stores, and provisions were to be delivered to the French ; 
all the sick and wounded not in a condition to be removed 
to Fort Edward, were to remain under the protection of 
Montcalm. The garrison of Fort William Henry was to be 
escorted to Fort Edward by a detachment of French troops ; 
all French prisoners captured in America since the begin- 

(i) Lettre de M. de BougainviUe au ministre, Montreal 19 aofit 1757. 
Parts Documents, X, p, 614, 


ning of the war were to be given up within three months. 
These articles were signed by Montcalm and Munro at 
noon, on the 9^^ of August 1757. 

We have now to record one of the most tragic episodes 
in the stirring annals of these times. The " Massacre of 
William Henry " has been the subject of many a page of 
vivid description. Fiction and history have found in it a 
fruitful source of romantic piAures and pathetic narrations. 
It has sometimes added fuel to national prejudices and 
social hatred. But we earnestly hope that truth and justice 
have conquered at last, and that fairness of appreciation 
have now succeeded the angry feelings and passionate 
misrepresentations occasioned by the dreadful events which 
took place on the shores of lake George on the lo^** of 
August 1757. 

The surrendered garrison was to leave that morning 
under escort. During the preceding afternoon, Montcalm 
had given strict orders that the Indians were not to be 
allowed to touch intoxicating liquors, well knowing that 
they became little better than wild beasts under its influ- 
ence. Unfortunately they obtained some from the English, 
who thought that they could propitiate these blood thirsty 
warriors in this manner. 

Alas! it was pouring oil on the unholy fire already 
kindled in the savage breast. As soon as the English 
column had left the entrenched camp from which it was 
to march towards Fort Edward, the intoxicated Indians, 
infuriated by the presence of what they considered a van- 
ishing prey began to plunder, and soon to massacre the 
retreating garrison. They respected nothing; neither age 

1757] ^^^^' ^^^ MONTCALM 191 

nor sex stopped their murderous rage. It was a scene of 
horror never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it 
while they were powerless to oppose it. 

When this horrible deed began, Montcalm, L6vis and 
Bourlamaque were in their quarters, not suspecting what 
was taking place at the entrenched camp. As soon as 
they heard of it they rushed to the rescue of the unfor- 
tunate garrison. " Interpreters, officers, priests, Canadians, 
all were called to help, and every one made strenuous 
efforts to save the English from their assailants. But the 
latter, drunk with blood and homicide, would listen to no 
one. Many of them killed their prisoners rather than let 
them go. A great number dragged them into their canoes 
and vanished on the lake. M. de Montcalm driven to 
despair, seeing how little he could control the Indians, 
shouted : " Since you are rebel children, and refuse to 
keep the pledge you have given to your Father and to hear 
his voice, kill him first of all.*' These extraordinary and 
passionate utterances seem to have calmed them a little ; 
they said : " Our Father is displeased." " But great harm 
had been done." ^'^ 

The number of English killed in this treacherous affair 
is not an easy thing to ascertain. L6vis says there were 
about fifty : " There were about fifty scalps, and three 
hundred prisoners, of whom a certain number were delivered 
in to M. de Montcalm's hands the day after; and those 
who were brought to Montreal were redeemed by M. de 

(1) Le marhhal de camp Desandronins, par TabW Gabriel, Verdun, 
1887, p. 109. 


Vaudreuil at a very heavy price and sent to Boston." *** 
Father Roubaud, an eye-witness, says that forty or fifty 
dead conld be seen on the theatre of this cruel butchery. ^'* 
As for the prisoners, out of six hundred, Montcalm was 
happy enough to recover over four hundred ^ whom he 
treated with the gp-eatest fairness and generosity and sent 
to Fort Edward on the 15^. Amongst those who were 
brought in by the Indians, many were slaughtered and — 
horribiU dictu — eaten by these monsters. And again, after 
reaching Montreal, in a moment of renewed frenzy they 
killed one of these unfortunate prisoners, and treated him 
in the same manner even forcing his compatriots to partake 
with them at this disgusting feast. Nothing could be 
done to prevent these fiends. The governor had only a 
handftil of troops, and had to exercise prudence to avoid 
greater disasters. He exerted himself to redeem the 
captives and seems to have succeeded. He states in a 
letter to the minister : ^^ I have redeemed all the English, 
not only those of the capitulation of Fort George, but also 
those who have been captured in the fight on lake St. 

Sacrement on the 24^ of July I have just equipped a 

vessel and sent them to Halifax with Captain Fesch.'' 

To any unprejudiced student of history it is perfeAly 
clear that Montcalm could not be held responsible for this 
tragedy. Nevertheless he has been accused. In a book 
entitled " Travels through the interiar parts of North- 

(£) Journal d^s campagms da Ckevalur di Uvis, p. 102. 

(2) Ldttns edi^mUs. 

(3) Lettre de Montcalm d Lord Loodoa. Ptiris DmrmwtaUs, X. p. 619. 

1757] ^^^^^' ^^^ MONTCALM I93 

Antertca^^ Jonathan Carver, captain of a company of prov- 
incial troops at William Henry, lias drawn a highly col- 
oured piAure of this dreadful event. He says that 1500 
English were killed, which is not in accordance with fa<5ls 
and speaks of Montcalm's " unprovoked cruelty, " which, 
he adds, was not approved by the majority of his compa- 
triots. ^'^ A celebrated and brilliant novelist, Fenimore 
Cooper, writes in the same reckless manner in his well 
known book : The last 0/ the Mohicans : " The cruel work 
was still unchecked. On every side the captured were flying 
before their relentless persecutors, while the armed columns 
of the Christian king stood fast in an apathy which has never 
been explained, and which has left an immovable blot on 
the otherwise fair escutcheon of their leader. Nor was the 
sword of death stayed until cupidity got the mastery of 
revenge. Then, indeed, the shrieks of the wounded and 
the yells of their murderers grew less frequent, until, 
finally, the cries of horror were lost to their ear, or were 
drowned in the loud, long, and piercing whoops of the 
triumphant Savages. (The accounts of the number who 
fell in this unhappy affair, vary between five and fifteen 

" The bloody and inhuman scene is conspicuous in the 
pages of colonial history, by the merited title of "The 
Massacre of William Henry.** It so far deepened the stain 
which a previous and very similar event had left upon the 
reputation of the French commander, that it was not 

(i) Travels through the interior parts of North- America^ by Jonathan 
Carver, etc., Dublin, 1759, pp. 295 and foHowing. 


194 I'HE SmGE OI^ QUEBEC [i757 

entirely erased by his early and glorious death. It is now 
becoming obscured by time ; and thousands, who know 
that Montcalm died like a hero on the plains of Abraham, 
have yet to learn how much he was deficient in that moral 
courage without which no man can be truly great. Pages 
might be written to prove, from this illustrious example, 
the defects of human excellence ; to show how easy it is 
for generous sentiments, high courtesy, and chivalrous 
courage, to lose their inflence beneath the chilling blight 
of selfishness, and to exhibit to the world a man who was 
great in all the minor attributes of character, but who was 
found wanting when it became necessary to prove how 
much principle is superior to policy. But the task would 
exceed our prerogatives ; and, as history, like love, is so 
apt to surround her heroes with an imaginary brightness, 
it is probable that Louis de Saint V6ran will be viewed by 
posterity only as the gallant defender of his country, 
while his cruel apathy on the shores of the Oswego and of 
the Horican will be forgotten." 

Nothing could be more unjust than these lines. Mont- 
calm had his faults, but he certainly did not lack moral 
courage. His condu(5l on the lo^^^ of August 1757 was wor- 
thy of his reputation and of his high station. He exposed 
his own life to save that of the English captives. Another 
American writer, Bancroft, is more fair. In his History of 
the United States, he writes : " Montcalm had kept from the 
Savages all intoxicating drinks, but they solicited and 
obtained them of the English, and all night long they were 
wild with dances, and songs and revelry. The Abenakis 
of Acadia excited the angry passions of other tribes, by 

1757] ^*"**^' OK MONTCALM I95 

recalling tlie sorrows tliey had suffered from English 
perfidy and English power. At daybreak, they gathered 
round the intrenchments, and, as the terrified English 
soldiers filed off, began to plunder them, and incited one 
another to swing the tomahawk recklessly. Twenty, 
perhaps even thirty, persons were massacred, while very 
many were made prisoners. Officers and soldiers, stripped 
of every thing, fled to the woods, to the fort, to the tents of 
the French. To arrest the disorder, De L6vis plunged into 
the tumult daring death a thousand times. French officers 
received wounds in rescuing the captives, and stood at their 
tents as sentries over those they had recovered. " Kill me," 
cried Montcalm using prayers, and menaces, and promises ; 
" but spare the English, who are under my prote<5lion ; " 
and he urged the troops to defend themselves." ^'^ 

We have only to consult original documents to find 
ample evidence that Montcalm's glory was not tarnished 
by the mournful events of William Henry. 

During the following days the French general employed 
1500 men in the demolition of the fort and in burning all 
the buildings. On the 16^'^ the work of destruction was 
finished, and the victorious army left the spot of its great 
achievements. Peace, silence, and death, reigned on the 
picturesque shores where a few days before thousands of 
brave men had toiled, fought and suffered for their King 
and country. 

Montcalm left Carillon on the ag*'' of August and reached 
Montreal on the i** of September. 

(i) History of the United States hy George Bancroft, Vol. IV., p. 265. 



11 JfONTCALM was returning once more crowned with the 
^^^ laurels of vi<5lory. But notwithstanding the natural 
satisfaction he derived from his military success, his heart 
was full of sadness, and his mind was burdened with 
anxieties. He was not pleased with the situation of 
Canada. He felt the falseness, or what he deemed the 
falseness of the position, and suffered from many a thorn 
which, without being perhaps much apparent, was not the 
less sharp. We have had an insight of his condition in a 
preceding chapter, and we will now take a closer view. 

Before leaving for the William Henry campaign, he 
wrote to M. de Moras, the new minister of Marine, who 
had succeeded M. de Machault, a long, confidential and 
important letter, in which he revealed his inmost feelings. 
" My commission," said he, " is a delicate one ; I am very 
subordinate and must be so in comparison with the Inten- 
dant, a man of genius and intelligence. I have only to 
congratulate myself on the circumstance. With the 
General no one will ever perceive that I have to complain, 
and the service will always proceed as well as 'twill be in 
my power. He is a kind man, mild, with no charaAer of 


his own, surrounded by men who seek to destroy all confi- 
dence he might have in the General of the land forces ; I 
am extolled overmuch in order to excite his jealousy, foster 
Canadian prejudice, and to oblige him not to deal openly 
with me, and not to adopt my ideas except of necessity. 

" I dare say my conduA has always been as uniform as 
it has been respectful. You, my Lord, alone can apply a 
remedy, without in any wise changing a striA subordi- 
nation which is necessary, by writing in such a manner as 
to inspire confidence, to manifest some esteem for me, and 
to desire that my opinions as regards military operations, 
may be somewhat listened to. This would at once deter- 
mine my influence in this country. 

" What would be at the same time necessary, would be 
a sealed letter, to be opened only in case of the Marquis 
de Vaudreuil's death, wherein I should find an order to 
assume the command of the Colony, and of all the troops 
until you had nominated a Governor-General. 

" The contingency had been near occuring this winter ; 
the Marquis de Vaudreuil having been very ill. The 
public mind was agitated to learn whether I should have 
the command of the Colony, which would be the wish of 
every-body, even of the Intendant, seeing the incapacity of 
him upon whom the government of the country would have 
devolved, namely, M. Rigaud, who must assume the reins 
as senior Deputy-Governor; and this shortsighted man, 
always led by the first comer, would have seriously embar- 
rassed the Intendant ; failing him, it would have been a 
simple King's Lieutenant, and so on from one to another, 
to even a simple Colonial Captain, in preference to a gene- 

1757] ^"''* O^** MONTCALM I99 

ral ofl&cer, who, by his commission, is only nominally 
under the Marquis de Vaudreuil's orders, and who, in the 
field, commands all the others. 

" The precaution I suggest to you appears to me neces- 
sary for the good of the service. Before I left Paris, I 
knew enough of the form of the government of this Colony 
to have foreseen this difl&culty, but I confess to you that I 
did not believe myself sufl&ciently the choice or the inti- 
mate of the Minister of Marine, to dare to speak to him 
about it." <'> 

He then gave due praise to his lieutenants L6vis and 
Bourlamaque, and also to the people of the colony : 
" What a colony ! What a people, when called on ! What 
an advantage could a Colbert turn them to ; you occupy 
his post, and are his worthy successor. They all possess 
talent and courage at bottom, but up to the present time, 
nothing has animated that body or served to develop the 
existing germs." He then proceeded to recommend an old 
relative of his to the minister's spirit of justice. Then 
reverting to himself, he wrote : 

" As for me, my Lord, I ask no other favour than my 
recall at the earliest moment possible. Should it be the 
opinion that my second, or any other European general 
officer, would succeed better as chief, I would always quit 
without difficulty a country where I am wasting my health ; 
where I fear not to be as expeditious in the King's service 
as I would desire, and where the General will be occupied 

(i) M. de Montcalm ^ M. de Moras, Montreal, nth. July, 1757. — Paris 
Documents, X, p. 576. 


only in detra<5ling from the share the land forces and I 
may have in successes, and in rendering us responsible for 
these events which may be unsuccessful. 

" I wish the unfortunate and too much to be pitied 
Dieskau were in Paris ; he must have made some reflexions, 
and has no other faults than having been ignorant of the 
Colony, and having placed too much reliance on what had 
been told him. 

" Therefore, my Lord, recall me as soon as possible ; if, 
however, there be, at the peace, an interval between the 
news and the departure of the troops, were it but of three 
months, I offer to go and look, with military and political 
views, at Detroit and the Beautiful river ; but without an 
order from you, I should be refused permission to go and 
reconnoitre any part of the Colony where the business of 
the war will not per force take me ; and I greatly wish 
never to have any reasons for going to defend or retake the 
Beautiful river, although I have already drafted a plan, 
should the need ever occur. 

" My pay is only twenty-five thousand livres^ I have 
none of the perquisites of the Governors or Intendants of 
Canada, I must support a staff ; I do nothing beyond, 
neither do I anything beneath my station. 

" I am obliged to give myself importance, single handed ; 
no person seeks to give me any here ; they would fain try 
to deprive me of it, but they will not succeed. M. de 
Machault admitted that I was not adequately paid ; he 
promised to make it up to me and to attend to it. I did 
not come here to carry home money ; but should be sorry 
to make a hole here in the little patrimony of six children. 

1757] ^^^^ O^ MONTCALM 20I 

" I have, nevertheless, expended ten thousand francs 
beyond my allowance, and shall continue since the expense 
I incur is necessary. I flatter myself you will assist me 
to pay my debts." ^'^ 

After his return from lake St. Sacrement, Montcalm had 
to face other causes of annoyance. We have seen that in 
a letter to the minister of Marine, dated the 23*^^ of October 
1756, M. de Vaiidreuil had accused him of rudeness and 
unfairness in his treatment of the Canadians and the 
Indians. The Minister of War had been the recipient of 
similar complaints. Montcalm did not know that Vau- 
dreuil had written against him, when he received two 
letters, one from the Minister of War, and the other from 
the Minister of Marine, indicating clearly that he had been 
traduced and placed in an unfavourable light with these 
high officials. The Minister of War, le Marquis de 
Paulmy, who had succeeded his uncle, M. d'Argenson, 
wrote to the General : " It is very important that the ofl&- 
cers of land troops in Canada should live in harmony with 
those of the colony. It is to be feared that the former are 
dealing harshly and haughtily with the Canadians ; and 
above all it would be most deplorable that the Indians 
should be dissatisfied with their treatment. His Majesty 
has directed me to make known his desire that you should 
busy yourself as much as you can to foster between the 
troops under your command, and the residents of Canada 
those feelings of friendship and good understanding, 

(i) Montcalm d M. de Moras, Montreal, 11 juillet 1757. Paris Docn- 
ments, X, p. 578. 


without which it cannot be hoped that they will work 
together and manifest their zeal for the success of your 
undertakings. As your own example would be, no doubt, 
most instrumental in teaching them their duty, you cannot 
show too much moderation and affability on every occasion 
towards the Canadians and the Indians. It is above all 
essential to be conciliatory with the latter whose services 
as scouts are indispensable." ^'^ It is easy to understand 
that M. de Paulmy was delivering to his correspondent a 
somewhat severe lecture on his behaviour towards Cana- 
dians and Indians. 

The other minister, M. de Moras, wrote in the same 
strain : " The experience won in the last campaign, has 
undoubtedly shown you how useful the Canadians and 
Indians can be in all military moves that you may be 
called upon to make. It is safe to rely upon the valour 
and even the good will and zeal of the Canadians if they 
are not treated in a manner that will disgust them. Their 
situation in itself deserves special regard, and their temper 
calls for even more. Firmness is sometimes necessary 
with them ; but an intelligent moderation, which is gen- 
erally more apt than any thing else to make authority 
respeAed, ought specially to succeed with them. As to the 
Indians, you have surely noticed that, if it is not good to 
add fuel to their natural pride in relation to the services 
they may render, in the mean time it is important to 
comply, to a certain extent, with the whims by which they 

(i) M. le Marquis de Paulmy d M. le Marquis de Montcalm. Lettres 
de la cour de Versailles, p. 62. 

1757] ^I^S O^ MONTCALM 203 

are often governed, and that a good deal of patience is 
required to obtain their cooperation. Of course it is not 
for yourself that I indulge in these general considerations 
on the policy to be followed with Canadians and Indians ; 
I rest assured that you have already won the confidence of 
both. But from Canada some reports have come to us 
stating that certain land officers dealt too roughly with 
them." ^'^ Evidently the minister of Marine, in his fine 
diplomatic style, was treating Montcalm to a homily on 
moderation and good temper. It was not intended for him, 
perhaps, but he could take it to heart ! 

Montcalm was intelligent, and he probably realised from 
what quarter the accusations arose. But he was wise enough 
to abstain from recrimination and answered in a collected 
and respeAful manner. To the Minister of War he said : 
" The wise counsel you give nie proves to my mind how 
much you are pleased to interest yourself for the success 
of my mission. You can assure the King that what you 
so strictly recommend on his part is exactly followed on 
mine ; therefore, have I acquired to the highest degree the 
confidence of the Canadians and Indians. With the former 
when I am on the march or in camp, I have the air of 
a Tribune of the people ; my success, which any other 
might have had, and the intimate acquaintance with the 
manners of the Indians, the attention I pay them, has won 
for me their affection. This is so strong that there are 
moments perhaps, when my General is astonished at it. He 

^i) M. de Moras au Marquis de Montcalm. — Lettres de la Cour de Ver- 
sallies p, 69. 


is a native of Canada, and his system and that of his friends 
has ever been to proclaim that his name alone would suf- 
fice to attra(5l the confidence of the Nations. I should 
fancy that I am now as sure of mine. The officers of the 
Colony esteem, consider and believe me to be just and 
severe, and many fear me ; but these are neither a Villiers, 
nor a Contrecoeur, nor a Lig^eris, nor many others. In 
regard to our troops, I have established the greatest politi- 
cal harmony." ^'^ 

Montcalm's answer to the minister of Marine was a 
little more pointed. He felt that his enemies were stronger 
in that department. We give the most important passage 
of this reply : " You vaunt the valor of the Canadians, 
you read me some lessons respecting the conduA to be 
observed towards them and the Indians. You kindly add, 
that it is not in regard to myself, but that private accounts 
make mention of the harshness with which some of our 
officers treat the one and the other. I have taken very 
good care not to show that letter ; it would have afflicted 
our officers who are but too well persuaded, and not without 
cause, that people in the Colony are, through a spirit of 
low jealousy, occupied only in running them down ; those 
imputations are false. Those accounts which you mention 
to me, have been written, my Lord, by persons as ill- 
instru(5led as they are ill-intentioned. I appeal to the 
Marquis de Vaudreuil and to M. Bigot who have appeared 
to me pained by your letter, and who, both the one and 

(i) Montcalm £l Paulniy, Quebec, i8 septembre 1757.— /Virw Docu 
ments, x. p. 638. 


the other, have assured me, that they would uudeceive 
you. ^'^ The Canadians and Indians are well pleased with 
the few of our ofl&cers who have been with them, and M. 
Pouchot, Captain of the regiment of B6am, who has been 
in command at Niagara, is regretted by the latter. 

" As for what regards myself, personally, I shall not 
alter my conduA. The Canadian, the simple farmer, 
respedb and loves me. As to the Indians, I dare believe 
I have seized their genius and manners. I am indebted 
for their confidence perhaps more for my success than to 
my feeble talents ; but in the present moment I dare assert 
that even in the Upper countries, my name will make as 
much impression as those who are believed to be the idol 
of those people. They hold as a principle to consider as 
much the war chief as the chief of the cabin. In respeA 
to Canadian valor, no one renders it more justice than I 
and the French do, but a nation so much accustomed . to 
brag, will glorify itself long enough before I shall ever 
entertain the unfortunate confidence of M. de Dieskau. 
I will not employ them except in their sphere, and shall 
endeavour to support their bravery by the advantage of the 
woods and of the regular troops. By this expression I 
mean the Land and Marine forces, which I esteem to an 
equal degree." ^'^ 

We can see by this letter that Montcalm had his own 

(i) This remark of Vaudreuil ap])ear8 verv strange when we consider 
the letter he had written to the Minister of War on the 23rd of October 
1756, in which he accused Montcalm of dealing harshly with the Cana- 
dians and Indians. 

(2) Montcalm ^ M. de Moras — Paris Documents^ X, p. 686. 

2o6 THE SIEGE Oi^ QUEBEC [^757 

prejudices. But there is a good deal of truth in his 
reflexions. His remarks about employing the Canadians 
" in their sphere, " are pointed. To try to make them 
serve as the regulars, would have been folly. But they 
had their merit and were not to be despised as fighters, 
and Montcalm appreciated this fa A. The real trouble with 
Montcalm was that he resented too deeply the governor's 
evident partiality for his own people, and he did not 
sufi&cently conceal his feelings. The Canadian people 
were faithful to their allegiance, patient in times of great 
trials, courageous and resolute on the eve of a national 
crisis ; they bore valiantly more than their share of 
sacrifices and sufferings, and for all that, notwithstanding 
there failings, they deserved more consideration than was 
shown them by the land ofiicers generally, and sometimes 
by Montcalm himself. However so far as the General was 
concerned, he usually kept his most bitter judgments for 
his confidants and when appeal was made to his sense of 
justice a study of the fa(5ls did not reveal any evidence that 
he gave willingly and knowingly iniquitous decisions 
against the sons of the soil. In a word, Montcalm's dislike 
of Canadians, of which he has been accused by certain 
historians, not without reason, is to be deteAed rather in 
his conversation and letters than in his acfts. His natural 
generosity and uprightness were strong enough to coun- 
terbalance his prejudice. 

The letter of the Minister of War written in April did not 
reach Montcalm until the end of the following summer. ^'^ 

(i) The letter of the minister of Marine reached Montcalm onl}' in 
February, 1758. 

1757] ^-'^^- O^ MON'rCALM 1^07 

And at the time when he had leisure to ponder over that 
unpleasant communidlation, he was submitted to the cen- 
sorious whisperings of the Governor's entourage about his 
alleged failure in completing the surrender of William 
Henry with the capture of Fort Edward. M. de Vaudreuil 
was extremely disappointed when he saw that Montcalm 
did not push further his advantage, and did not proceed 
immediately to attack Webb. In his written instruAions to 
the General, delivered on the ninth of July, there was a 
paragraph relating to the siege of Fort Lydius, or Fort 
Edward : " We will not doubt," said the Governor, " should 
the Marquis de Montcalm be successful in the first instance, 
but Fort Lydius will be intimidated to the degree that it 
will offer only a feeble resistance ; therefore the Marquis 
de Montcalm will leave some troops at Fort George, and 
consider nothing more pressing than to present himself 
with his army before Fort Lydius and lay siege to it, 
unless it be evident that the forces of the Colony would be 
compromised by this second expedition. He perceives as 
fully as I do that so long as Fort Lydius stands, the 
English will always possess means to threaten our frontier, 
whilst, should that fort be razed, they would be forced to 
abandon that proje<5l, and by a necessary consequence, all 
their ambitious projeAs against this Colony would van- 
ish." ^'^ Later on, two days before the fall of William Henrj^ 
M. de Vaudreuil writing to Montcalm, insisted again on 
that point. He said: "I am confident that this courier 
will join you at Fort Lydius ; circumstances are more 

(i) Paris Documents^ X, p. 662. 


favorable for your laying siege to it Should we fail to 

reduce Fort Lydius this year, we may give it up, as we 
shall never again have such a fine opportunity . . , Nothing 
should be an impediment to you in that regard, even 
though the Canadians should not return soon enough to 
save their harvest, we shall not want provisions, and 
besides, it would be better for them to be a little short 
than to be obliged next year to see themselves at the same 
trouble to guard their frontier." ^'^This letter showed that 
when M. de Vaudreuil cherished an idea, he was blind to 
anything else ; and that intent in his solitary and obstinate 
preoccupation, he stuck strenuously to his wish without 
being able to see or appreciate the obstacles in the way of its 
realisation. Montcalm did not follow VaudreuiPs instruc- 
tions and entreaties because he deemed the undertaking 
impossible. In spite of the Governor's afiirmation, the 
Canadians could not well be kept on military duty at the 
time of harvest. If the crops had been entirely lost that 
year it would have been a disaster for the Colony, worse 
than the loss of a battle. " We shall not want provisions '' 
quietly wrote Vaudreuil, comfortably seated at his desk 
in his cabinet at Chateau- Vaudreuil. Not want provi- 
sions ! . . . But the Colony was starving ! The population 
was reduced to four ounces of bread a day ! ^^^ No, the 
Canadians could not be kept at lake St-Sacrement later 
than the middle of August, without running the risk of 

(i) Vaudreuil k Montcalm, 7 aoiit, 1757. fiiris Documents, X, p. 660. 
(2) M. Doreil k M. de Paulmy, 14 aoflt 17 sj,— Paris Documents^ X, 
p. 597. 

1757] J-I^E OK MONTCALM 209 

ruining New-France. ^*^ They must be sent to harvest, 
and that would necessitate the withdrawal of over two 
thousand men from the army. Then the Indians had 
vanished in great numbers, after their treacherous and 
fiendish coup of the lo^'', and this contributed further to 
weaken Montcalm. And last but not least, he had no 
horses to carry his artillery over a road of nearly six 
leagues through the woods. He would have been obliged 
to leave it at William Henry with a force to prote<5l it, 
and proceed with perhaps four thousand men in all, to 
attack six thousand soldiers, intrenched, covered by a fort, 
amply provided with artillery, ammunition and food. It 
would have been courting defeat and risking the splendid 
result already obtained. No, Montcalm was not in a 
position to lay siege to Fort Lydius after the capture of 
William Henry. 

But Vaudreuil did not wish to change his mind. He said 
that Lydius should be taken, and Lydius must be taken ! 
Accordingly he complained to the Minister and accused 
Montcalm. On the eighteenth of August he wrote to M. 
de Moras : " My satisfaction would have been complete 
had such reduction been followed by that of Fort Lydius. 
The instru(5lions I had given the Marquis de Montcalm 
will prove to you the desire I had that such should have 
been effected, and I hope that you will recognize therein the 
zeal which animates me for His Majesty's service and the 

(i) Vaudreuil himself in his written instrudtions to Montcalm, said : 
" We warn him beforehand that it will not be in his power to avoid 
sending back about the end of the month of August, the Upper County 
Nations and the greater part of the Canadians to have our crops saved. " 




glory of his arms. I have no reproach to make myself on 
this head ; I even wrote to the Marquis de Montcalm, on 
the seventh of this month, to make him more easy and to 
impress upon him still more the importance of this second 
expedition ; you will perceive, my Lord, that I took pains 
politically to reassure him in regard to provisions, so that 
he might act without the least uneasiness. He had only 
about six leagues of a very fine road before reaching Fort 
Lydius, and I am confident that the reduction of the first 
fort would have inevitably drawn down that of the second. 
I would only have wished that Marquis de Montcalm had 
presented himself; he had everything according to his 
desire, and was sure at all events of his retreat.'' ^'^ All 
this is very ingenious. — ^To Vaudreuil, peacefully sur- 
rounded in his quarters ninety-two leagues from the scene 
of operations, Montcalm's action was inexplicable. The 
difl&culties of the road, the obstacles in the way, and the 
absurdity of the propositions did not strike Vaudreuil. 
Montcalm had only to present himself, and all difl&culties 
would vanish. And to such a tactician the defence of New 
France was entrusted. 

VaudreuiPs friend. Bigot, did not entertain the same 
views. On the i6'^ of August, he had written to Mont- 
calm : " The resolution you have taken not to besiege 
Fort Edward (or Lydius) and not to make the garrison 
prisoners of war, is the wisest in every point of view ; we 
could not feed them. It would be greatly to be feared that 
the harvest in the government of Montreal would have 

(i) Paris Documaiis. 

1757] ^^^fi O^ MONTCALM 21 1 

been lost had you detained the farmers any longer. You 
had not provisions enough at Carillon for that enterprise. 
I could not have provided subsistance for our army on Lake 
St. Sacrement after the month of August. We must 
consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to set 
on foot the army that you commanded and to have provided 
for its subsistance for forty days in a year in which people 
are, so to speak without bread. The Colony must realise 
all the obligations it is under to you." ^'^ For once, Bigot 
was right. But Vaudreuil was bound to minimize Mont- 
calm's glory, and tongues, at le Ch&teau- Vaudreuil, were 
very busily employed in expatiating over the Major-Gene- 
ral's deficiency. 

All this greatly provoked Montcalm ; he began to give 
way to his feelings and to return within his intimate circle, 
the governor's strictures. 

(i) Pnris Documents, X. p. 631. 



ON the lo*^ of September, Montcalm left for Quebec 
where he desired to make a review of the two batta- 
lions of Berry which had lately arrived in a pitiful state 
from France. ^'^ He reached the city on the 14**" and found 
matters in a deplorable condition. The people were exer- 
cised over the impending fate of Louisbourg, the scarcity 
of provisions was distressing the inhabitants, many of 
whom were reduced to four ounces of bread ; and the 
hospitals were filled with dying troops. 

Montcalm's presence had a good effedl. 

From the 10*^ to the 13*^ of October, the General made 
an inspedlion of the North Shore below Quebec, as far as 

(i) This regiment was to have been sent to the Hast Indies. Its 
battalions were composed of nine companies, each company numbering 
sixty men. Its strength should have been over 1 100, but an infe<5lious 
disease had prevailed on board of the ships and the Quebec hospitals 
were crowded with sick soldiers as soon as they landed. The regiment 
lost three officers and three hundred men. Five nuns and four priests 
lost their lives in attending them. (Jonmal de Afalatiic, p. 100). The 
ships had also brought iioo recruits and eight new companies, created 
accordine to an ordinance of the 25th February, to replace the four com- 
panies of La Reine and the four companies of Languedoc captured on 
Le Lys in 1755. 


Cap Tourmente ; he was accompanied by MM. Pellegrin, 
a pilot, Montbeillard, an engineer, recently arrived from 
France, and Bougainville. He wanted to ascertain how the 
approaches to Quebec could be defended in that direction , 
if there was an invasion. He thought that a battery could 
be established at Cap Tourmente, which would prove 
dangerous to a British fleet passing under its fire. Between 
that cape and Montmorency, there was no place fit for 
lauding. The Sault was an impassable barrier. From 
Montmorency river to Quebec a line of redoubts would 
proteA the shore very effedlively. Then a defensive work 
at the General-Hospital, and lines from that place to 
Abraham's Hill, and at the Lower Town, would put Quebec 
in a position to be defended by three or four thousand men. 
The best means to proteA the place was to prevent the 
enemy from approaching it. All these considerations on 
the possible protection of Quebec, are developed at some 
length in Montcalm's Journal. *'' 

Montcalm remained five months in the Capital, from 
the 14*** of September 1757 to the 20*^ of February 1758. 
M. de Vaudreuil came there for three weeks only, in 
October. Montcalm was probably pleased enough with 
his absence. He lived in a house situated on Rampart 
Street, ^'^ which commanded a splendid view of the river 
and of the Beauport Coast. The house had been rented 
to him by Descheneaux, Bigot's secretary. There he read. 

(i) Journal dc Montcalm, p. 307. 

(2) The house which occupies that historical site, on Rampart street, 
bears the number 49. It stands not far from Hamel street. On the front 
wall can be read this inscription : '* Montcalm's Place." 

1757] ^^^^ OF MONTCALM 215 

Studied, wrote, thought and exercised with becoming gene- 
rosity, but without ostentation, the duties of hospitality. 

In perusing his correspondence and Journal of that 
time, we see that his mind was oppressed by many cares. 
Public distress was increasing. The question of provisions 
was one which came often under the General's pen. On 
the 26*^ of September he writes : " Distress is great, bread 
is extremely scarce, crops are bad." On the same day he 
says in a letter to M. de L^vis : " Our sad situation, 
Monsieur, makes it necessary that we and our soldiers 
submit to a great redudlion in the rations. . . .M. I'lnten- 
dant Bigot just acquainted me minutely with the miserable 
condition of the colony until we can receive some help 
from France. Every body in Quebec is reduced to four 
ounces of bread ; I go with the rest." On the 14^ of 
October the Intendant gave notice that it would be neces- 
sary to eat horse-flesh from December till spring, and 
Montcalm says immediately : " As soon as horse will be 
given to our soldiers I will make my provision of it for all 
winter and there will always be horse-flesh on my table." 
Again, on the same subject : " The distribution of horse- 
flesh to soldiers was begun to-day. In eight days there 
will be three distributions of beef, three distributions of 
horse, and three distributions of cod-fish. Since a good 
while the Acadians and the Montreal and Quebec popula- 
tions fare on horse-flesh. Care must be taken not to 
destroy entirely the oxen species, and it is in the political 
intrest of the colony to reduce the number of horses, as the 
habitants keep too many of these, and don't raise enough 
oxen. According to M. Bigot, this distribution of horse- 


flesh will necessitate the slaughtering of one thousand or 
twelve hundred of these animals, and he says that three 
thousand could be killed without in any way affeAing 
public requirements. As a matter of fact it does not 
appear that this considerable slaughtering of horses has 
raised their price." ^'^ On the 14^ of December Montcalm 
writes to L^vis : " Horse is eaten at my table under every 
form, with the exception of horse soup." As the winter 
crept on, the public distress increased. In April we find 
these lines in Montcalm's Journal : " The population has 
been reduced at Quebec to two ounces of bread. There has 
been a mob of women at the lieutenant-general's door." '^ 
Some people were literally starving; in the country a 
great many habitants were living on boiled oats ; Bougain- 
ville writes that many were seen eating grass. 

Amidst all these dreadful sufferings and anxieties, how 
strange and sad it is to hear the merry buzz of joyful 
parties. Soon after his arrival at Quebec, Montcalm had 
urged moderation and the suppression of all festivities. 
We read in his Journal : " Yesterday I spoke about 
retrenchment on our tables, M. de Vaudreuil has approved 
of my views and promised to set a good example. The 
whole. colony praises the idea, but the Intendant is not 
enthusiastic. He likes ostentation, and this is not the 
time for it. I have spoken of one service according to the 
article 16 of the ordinance. I have said that, during the 
whole winter, there should be no balls, no violins, no 

(i) Journal de Montcalm, p. 323. 

(2) !Le lieutenant-g^n^ral de la pr^vot^ de Quebec. 

1757] ^^^^ OF MONTCALM 217 

entertainments, no pleasure parties." ^'^ This was sound 
and wise advice. But if Bigot remained silent while 
listening to Montcalm's lecture on simplicity and social 
restraint, his silence surely did not imply acquiescence. 
For, two months later, the General had to record the 
following fadls : " M. le Marquis de Montcalm having 
learnt that, on Sunday, there was going to be a party at 
I'Intendant's, where a big lansquenet was to take place, he 
has deemed it advisable to promulgate again the stridlest 
orders against play in gaming-houses at the Lower Town . . 
The Intendant has received a big company, on the occasion 
of a concert given by some ladies and officers. The music 
was as good as could possibly be expecJled in a country 
where art has few opportunities yet. The gambling has 
been so great and so much beyond the means of many 
gamblers, that I thought I was looking at fools, or rather 
at people sick with burning fever ; for I don't remember 
having seen a bigger game, with the exception of the 
King's game. If all these gamblers who seem to squander 
their money would scrutinize their feelings, they would 
see that, notwithstanding their inclination to spend, this 
passion for gambling is the result of greediness and cupid- 
ity. There were three tables which could accommodate 
eighty guests, the rooms were well lighted, and everything 
would have been perfe<?l if the lord of the house, munificence 
in all details, had shown more tadl and been more attentive 
to have his splendid supper served earlier. But game held 
him so fast that in spite of his taste for feasting and his 

(i) Lettres du Marquis de Montcalm au chevalier de LCvis, p. 65. 


desire of pleasing his guests, cards evidently captivate him 
to such an extent that, in order to finish a game of lans- 
quenet, a supper prepared for nine o'clock was served only 
at twelve." ^'^ These inside views of the social life of the 
times are very interesting and even instrudlive. 

This evening party at M. Bigot's given on the i8'** of 
December 1757, was the first shot of the season. From 
that day it was a round of jollity. On the 23*^^ of December, 
Montcalm writes to L^vis. " Since the big game of last 
Sunday hot and notable skirmishes have taken pjace daily 
at M. I'Intendant's or at Mde. Pean's, either at the quinze^ 
or at the trente et quarante^ or at dice, and in the evening 
the tnomons. ^'^ There were four of them to-night, of 
ten, thirty, one hundred and twenty-five louts of which 
the paroli ^^^ was offered after the winning of the last 

This is the first time that we have mentioned the name 
of Madame P&in. She was a Miss des Meloises, pretty, 
bright and very winning. Her husband was Michel-Jean- 
Huges Pean, Seignior of St-Michel, one of Bigot's asso- 
ciates in his notorious transactions and speculations. The 
Intendaut had been captivated by her charms, and she 
was all powerful with him. Their liaison was a common 
place story, and one of the most notorious scandals of that 
scandalous regime. On a smaller scale she played at 
Quebec the roll that Madame la Marquise de Pompadour 

(i) Journal de Montcalm, p. 325. 

(2) A dice game. 

(3) Gambling expression which meant doubhng the stake. 

1757] L^^^ OF MONTCALM 219 

was playing at Versailles. Bigot was a second Louis XV^*" 
and Madame P&in was another Pompadour. ^'^ 

Night after night the feasting and gambling went on. 
On the 30**" December Montcalm writes : " Big gambling ! 
The Intendant, yesterday and the day before, lost four 
hundred and fifty pounds. To-day he has just risked a 
game where six hundred and fifty pounds were at stake. 
Johannes has lost three hundred pounds to-night. Some- 
times the Intendant, cards or dice in hands, is afraid and 
flinches. M. de Selles wins from five to six hundred pounds, 
but he fights yet." His letter of the 4**" January contains 
news of the same kind : " Never has the famous Quincam- 
poix street seen so many changes in fortunes. Bougainville 
is retrieving himself, de Selles decreases, the Intendant 
loses, Cadillac rises, de Bran is drowned, Marin goes 
on playing and losing; the little gamblers were doing 

better yesterday The tone of good breeding, of 

politeness, of society, is banished from the house where it 
should reign. I always fear to be obliged to punish before 
Lent, some gambler who will have forgotten that his 
playmate is the King's man. So, I go to I'lntendant's 
only in the morning or once a week, with ladies, or on big 
occasions." ^'^ On the 13^*" of January, Montcalm learns that 

(i) Madame P6an lived in the little Du Parloir Street, leading to the 
Ursuline*s Convent. Bigot's carriage could be seen at her door daily. 

(2) Unfortunately M. de Vaudreuil was to a certain extent, responsible 
for all this gambling. He had, the year before, given permi.<;sion to M. 
Bigot to have a bank at his place. Montcalm wrote to the Minister of 
War : " I have found that our officers are inclined to games of hazard, I 
proposed to M. de Vaudreuil to prohibit them ; I even placed an officer 
unoer arrest. There was no play either at Quebec or Montreal, until 


M. de Vaudreuil has permitted the game of pharaon ^'^ 
in his house, at Montreal, and he writes : " He, (the 
Governor) has not seen that P6an was pushing him to 
that, in order to justify the Intendant's gambling ". 
Indeed, after that, the fury of play seems worse than 
before : " The Minister of Marine has sent a King's ordi- 
nance to forbid hazardous game ", says Montcalm in his 
Journal on the 7'^ of February ; " that came opportunely at 
a time when the gambling frenzy has been brought to its 
climax by M. Bigot's example and M. de VaudreuiPs 
weakness. This Intendant has lost two hundred and four 
thousand francs, and in spite of that many officers are also 
losing. That sum is nothing for an Intendant of Canada 
who is unscrupulous. The least coup at dice or at trente 
el quarante was for stakes of nine hundred pounds, even of 
fifteen hundred." The approach of Lent was marked by 
a shower of worldly and costly pleasures. Within a few 
days, the Intendant gave three great balls. The gambling 
was dreadful. Bigot lost fifteen hundred pounds in three 
quarters of an hour. At last this carnival ended. Bigot 
himself seemed ashamed of all the excesses committed. 
He said he was willing to be called a wretch if hazardous 
games were played at his Palace next year. ^^^ 

M. de VaudreuiTs arrival at Quebec. M. Bigot loves to gamble, M. de 
Vaudreuil thought proper to permit a bank at M. Bigot's. I said what 
I considered my duty, but did not wish to forbid an officer playing at it ; 
it would have been displeasing to M. de Vaudreuil and M. Bigot ; the 
good of the service requires the contrary/* — Montcalm k M. d'Argenson, 
24 avril 1757. 

(i) A card game. 

(2) During the following year, however, gambling was resorted to as 

1757] ^^Pfi ^^ MONl*CALM 2il 

Montcalm's had tried to suppress gambling altogether, 
but having failed, on account of the privilege enjoyed by 
I'Intendant, he did his best to impress on his officer's minds 
the dangers of games of hazard. For himself he played 
mildly at five sous le tri, or at thirty sous le piquet. Once 
he was unwillingly interested in a game, and lost fifteen 
pounds. That was on Twelfth Day's evening, the 6^ of 
January. The Intendant had given a great supper ; chance 
had intelligently designated Montcalm as the king, ^'^ and 
Mde P6an was his queen. After supper he could not escape 
playing : " There are partnerships which cannot well be 
refused," he says in hisJoumaL Mde P6an was a gambler 
herself. The general was on friendly terms with her, and 
this was not his chief recommendation. Of course his official 
position did not leave him absolutely free to follow always 
his own tastes. He was obliged to fulfil certain social 
duties especially when high officers of the state such as the 
Intendant were concerned. Nevertheless it must be 
admitted that he exceeded the bounds of discretion in that 
dire<?lion. • At the beginning of the season, he had urged 
the propriety of abstaining from social rejoicings at a time 
when public distress was so great. It would have been 
better had he adhered more strictly to his own advice; 
shown himself only two or three times at I'Intendant's, 
and avoided as much as possible all intimate conne(5lion 
with Bigot's corrupt court. Instead of that he was seen 

(i) At \9iftte des Rois^ it was customary in Prance and Canada to serve 
at supper a cake in which had been placed a bean. The guest who found 
tjie bean in his piece was the kins^ 01 the party. On such occasions, the 
guidance of chance was an easy thing. 


very often in Mde Pean^s drawing room. " We have here," 
he wrote, ^^ two good houses, the hdtel Pean and Mde. de la 

Naudi^re^s ^'^ I visit alternately the one or the other". 

He spent his evenings twice a week at M. Bigot's. Mont- 
calm had no esteem for these people. He knew that Bigot 
was a thief, and that Mde. P6an exercised her charms to 
promote her own interests and those of her relations. He 
called the first one Verris ^^^ and the second one la Sultane. ^^* 
True it is that his demeanor and habits were far above 
the level of Bigot's clique, and that he did not indulge in 
the same dissipation and extravagance. But without 
appearing austere he could have abstained more than he 
did from these entertainments, and gorgeous banquets, of 
which he disapproved in his heart, and which made him 
write once : " In spite of the public distress we have balls 
and furious gambling ". ^^^ Montcalm was enlightened and 
refined, and a good citizen. In his official capacity he had 
to deal with knaves. But as a man of the world he should 
have remained aloof. To write against Bigot, against his 
clique, to brand in eloquent pages their rascalities, and to 
meet them afterwards at pleasure parties is not an a(5lion 
that we can admire, although it is probable Montcalm 

(i) Madame de la Naiidi^re,- born Oenevidve de Boish^bert, daughter 
of the Seignior of River-OueUe, — lived at the corner of I)u Parloir and 
Donaccona streets. On the same street, at the other corner, — St. I/)uis 
and Du Parloir — lived Mde. de Beaubasstn, another of Montcalm's lady 
friends. Mde Plan's h6tel was situated midway. 

(2) Journal de Montcalm, p. 461 : ** Here comes Verris ; he builds for 
himself an immense fortune '* 

(3) I^ttres du Marquis de Montcalm d Bourlamaque, p. 257 : " P^an 
has just passed six days at I^chine with *' la sultane r^gnanle,** 

(4) I^ettre d Madame de Montcalm, 19 f^vrier 1758. 

1757] ^"'^ ^^^ MONTCALM 2^3 

found it difficult to do otherwise, on account of his situa- 
tion. Bigot was the Intendant of New-France ; as long as 
he was kept in office, he represented the King's authority. 
Besides he was clever, though dishonest, and possessed 
undoubted abilities. He was a man of resources, of adlivity, 
of energy, and more than once, Montcalm had found him 
useful in military matters, at critical moments. His talents 
were dearly paid, but he had rendered services. For all 
these reasons, the General may have found himself bound 
to suppress his inward feelings, and even to remain 
apparently on familiar terms with the Intendant. Mont- 
calm appears to have doubted the wisdom of these visits to 
Bigot, for he stated in his Journal that, in future, he would 
go only once a week to the Palace. 

Montcalm's social relations with Mde P^an, were pro- 
bably due to the atmosphere of the time. Women of 
M. de P&in's order were prevalent during the eighteenth 
century, and they were surrounded by a circle of friends 
and admirers ; the habituh of their celebrated salons where 
academians, artists, men of standing at court and in the 

Montcalm had more force of chara<5ler than many of 
his contemporaries, and he was imbued with religious 
principles, but he was not entirely free from the influence 
of his age. 

We have spoken of Montcalm's association with Mde 
P6an, who could scarcely be termed a friend. The general 
highly appreciated the society of two other ladies, the 
wives of Colonial officers, Mde de la Naudi^re, and Mde 
de Beaubassin. 


The former was a Miss Boish6bert, daughter of the 
Seigneur of River Quelle, and the latter was Miss de Ver- 
ch&res, the daughter of the Seigneur of Verch&res. 

Montcalm was particularly impressed with Mde de Beau- 
bassin, and in a letter to Bourlamaque, written in 1757, he 
said : ^^ I am glad that you sometimes speak of me to the 
three ladies in the rue du Parloir, and I am flattered by 
their remembrance, especially by that of one of them, in 
whom I find at certain moments too much wit and too 
many charms for my tranquillity." This sounded more 
like love than friendship. Montcalm was always impulsive 
in his feelings and in his expressions. He was a man of 
the South. 

Returning to more important matters we must record 
here that it was during Montcalm's sojourn at Quebec 
that MM. de Vergor and de Villeray were tried by Court 
Martial for having surrendered Beaus6jour and Gaspa- 
reaux. Vergor, one of Bigot's creatures was guilty, and 
Villeray probably innocent. Both were acquitted because 
Vergor was highly proteAed. 


carillon-montcalm's triumph 

|M|ONTCALM left Quebec for Montreal on the 20*** of Feb- 
^^^ ruary 1758. The spring was uneventful. The great 
questions before the leaders of the colony were, what 
military operations should be conduced this year what 
reinforcements would come from France, and how could 
the viAualling problem be solved. 

In spite of the vidlories won during the preceding 
campaigns, never had the situation of Canada been worse 
than at the present moment. Starvation had scourged the 
colony ; resources of every kind were nearly exhausted, 
the news from France was not encouraging, and that from 
Bngland was of the most alarming charadler. 

It was clear that the English government and the 
English colonies were going to make a desperate effort 
this year to subdue New-France. What would be the plan 
of operations ? As the spring went on it became evident 
that an attack would be made at three points : Louisbourg, 
Fort Duquesne and Lake Champlain. Louisbourg and 
Fort Duquesne were two important posts. The first was 
the key of the St. Lawrence, the second was the safeguard 
of French influence in the West. But lake Champlain 
was the most vital point. On that frontier Carillon barred 

226 YhE siege OI^ QUEBEC t^75^ 

the progress of the enemy. If Carillon fell, St. Fr^d^ric 
could not be defended, and through the lakes St. John and 
Chambly, the enemy could in a few days reach Montreal, 
the heart of Canada. Therefore it was at Carillon that 
the fate of New-France was to be decided this year. 

At the beginning of June, it was resolved that an army 
of about 5,cxx> soldiers should be formed at Carillon. 
But, in the mean time, M. de Vaudreuil wanted to organize 
a detachment of i6cx) men, with Indians, to make a diver- 
sion in the vicinity of the Mohawk river. This detachment 
was to be commanded by M. de L^vis, having as his lieu- 
tenant M. de Rigaud, brother of the governor, recently 
promoted to the government of Montreal. Here, once 
more, Montcalm and Vaudreuil did not agree. The general 
thought that this division of forces was not advisable ; that 
all available troops should be sent to Carillon to face the 
dreadful storm that was likely to rage on that frontier. 
The governor, on the contrary, was of opinion that the 
Mohawk river expedition would be of great utility, as it 
would help to bring the Five Nations to the French side, 
or, at all events, prevent them from joining the English ; 
and also that it would alarm the enemy for the safety of 
the Orange river region, and perhaps stop an offensive 
move on lake St-Sacrement. It appears that Vaudreuil 
had not a correal idea of the forces that the English could 
put in the field this year. Being very obstinate, he had 
his own way, and nearly three thousand men were with- 
drawn from the defence of Lake Champlain. ^*^ Levis, 

(i) In his Journal Montcalm wrote : ** That fanciful expedition of 

1758] Lll^li Ot' MONtCAUi ^^7 

pleased with the importance of the command of this 
detachment, sided, on that occasion, with the governor. 

Bourlamaqne was sent in the beginning of June to 
Carillon to take command of the troops stationed there 
and of those who were to be sent. The battalion of Lan- 
guedoc left for the frontier on the 7^ of June ; Guyenne 
on the 12*^; Royal-Roussillon on the 15*''; La Sarre on 
the 17'''; and B6ani on the 20*''. Berry was already 
stationed at Carillon. 

Montcalm was to leave on the 24*'' of June for Carillon 
to take charge of the army. But, before starting, a rupture 
occurred between him and the governor. On the evening 
of the 23'^, at ten o'clock, Vaudreuil sent him written 
instrudlions for the campaign. This document was at the 
same time minute and indefinite, peremptory and contra- 
diAory. It covered many pages, entered into long and 
unnecessary explanations, went deeply into trifles, affedled 
to provide for every emergency ; and after a long winded 
enumeration of the general's many duties during the 
campaign, the paper ended with these words : " We regard 
as useles entering into any Juller details with the Marquis 
de Montcalm on whatever may concern the objects of his 
mission or tend to the glory of his Majesty's arms and 
the good of the colony, we refer them to his knowledge, 
his experience and his zeal, in which we have always 

Corlar (as it is caUed by courtiers) wiU perhaps cause the ruin of this 
colony. We should march immediately to the enemy with the Indians, 
the elite of Canadians, land and marine troops. They are not vet 
intrenched .... A sudden and strong attack would finish the campaign 
in that dire<5tion." In another passage he calls the Mohawk river 
expedition : *' la don Quichotterie de Corlar." 

228 YhE siege of QUEBEC [^75^ 

reposed our confidence." After such instructions, these 
expressions sound like mockery. 

Montcalm was incensed on reading this document, which 
was delivered to him at ten o'clock. Immediately he took 
his pen and wrote to the Governor : " Sir, I have the honor 
to beg of you to read again the InstruAions with which 
you have honored me this evening, and the annexed 
Memoir, and I expedl from your equity that you will think 
it sufficient that I take upon myself, under circumstances 
which may be critical, to defend as much as it will be 
possible for me, the frontier of Lake St-Sacrament with 
4000 men, against very superior forces, without burdening 
me with instrudlions, the obscurities and contradictions 
whereof appear to render me responsible for events which 
may happen and must anticipate. I render justice to the 
uprightness of your intentions, but I cannot leave until 
you have furnished me an instruAion with all the changes 
as necessary as they are indispensable to preserve the 
reputation of a General officer who has served with so 
much zeal for your own glory and the defence of this 
Colony." This letter was accompanied with a Memoir in 
which Montcalm pointed out the weak points of the 
instrudlion. This document was dated. " Montreal, the 
23"*, at night ! " We read under the same date in Mont- 
calm's Journal : " The Marquis de Vaudreuil has delivered 
to me, at ten o'clock this evening, his ridiculous, unintel- 
ligible and captious instrudlion. If I had accepted, it was 
framed in such a manner, that any unlucky event could 
be imputed to me, whatever measures I would have taken. 
I sent it back to M. de Vaudreuil with a Memoir explaining 


my views on the present occasion. It was with the greatest 
relndlance that he consented to give me another instruc- 
tion plain and clear. He stuck above all to a preamble in 
which he stated that he had studied with me all the affairs 
of the colony and taken my advice over all matters. I 
admit that he should have done that, according to my 
rank, my reputation and the King's orders. But as he 
never consulted me on anything, as he communicated to 
me no news, none of his plans, none of his moves, I 
declared to him positively that I would never consent to 
accept that untrue affirmation at the head of his instruc- 
tion, as I thought it damnable for my reputation. If the 
governor had insisted, my protest against that false asser- 
tion was ready. It is enough that a low jealousy be in the 
way of zeal, and, I dare say, of some talent, without 
consenting to be perfidiously made responsible for blunders 
which can be deplored and cannot be stopped." ^'^ 

It was after this hurricane, that Montcalm left for the 
army on the 24^ of June 1758. 

He arrived at Carillon oh the 30*^ with MM. Pontleroy, 
who had been appointed chief engineer of New-France, and 
Desandrouins, second engineer. The whole forces under 
his command were composed, at that moment, of 2,970 land 
troops, 35 Canadians, 37 marine, and 15 Indians ^'^ In 
the mean time, Abercromby the English General, was 
encamped around the ruins of William Henry, at the foot 
of lake St-Sacrement, with 6,367 regulars and 9,024 prov- 

(i) Journal de Montcalm^ p. 376. 

(2) Moatcalm au Marshal de BeUe-Isle, 12 juiUet 1758. 


incial soldiers. He had six fine regiments of old troops : 
the 55^, commanded by lord Howe, a splendid officer who 
was the real head of the army; the 27^^; the 44*^; the 
46^; the 80^^; the 42"^ of Highlanders, with its giant 
men, noticeable by their bare legs and their kilts. Besides, 
there were in Abercromby's army, the Royal Americans, 
a regiment raised in the colonies, but commanded by 
European ofl&cers, and five provincial regiments provided 
by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and 
Rhode Island. This powerful army was well supplied 
with artillery & ammunition — in a word with all war 
requisites. Bourlamaque informed the general on his 
arrival that, from what his scouts and some prisoners had 
told him, this mighty force was to fall on Carillon and 
the handful of French troops gathered there, within, per- 
haps, forty-eight hours. 

Montcalm's situation was precarious. He was at Carillon 
with only 3,000 men. This fort, called Ticonderoga by 
the English, was situated at the head of Lake Champlain, 
which was called at that place St-Fr6d6ric river, and 
received the discharge of another lake, to the south, — the 
lake George or St-Sacrement. The river which formed 
the discharge of one lake into the other was called River 
of the Falls because it was full of rapids. The Carillon 
peninsula consisted of a rocky plateau on which stood the 
fort unskilfully constructed, and certainly not strong 
enough to sustain a siege. Never had a general been placed 
in a more distressing situation. As M. Doreil, commissary 
of war, wrote after the crisis was over, ** there was enough 
to make me shudder. Fort Carillon was not finished. It 

1758] Lli"^^ OP MONTCALM 23I 

was capable of containing only a garrison of 400 men ; 
provisions only for 10 to 12 days ; no Indians, no retreat." 
Montcalm had only a choice of difficulties. Every deter- 
mination, every position was equally hazardous. He could 
not think of meeting in the field 16,000 men and a formid- 
able artillery with 3,000 men and no guns. Then he had 
either to fall back gradually and constantly before the 
enemy, and thus open Canada to invasion ; \>r to choose 
the best fortified position and make a desperate stand to 
stop his march if possible. But where could that effort be 
made? St. Fr6d6ric could not offer resistance for two 
days and there was no place fit for a defensive battle in 
this part. Carillon was after all the less disadvantageous 
position. And even there peril was tremendous. Aber- 
cromby could carry his artillery in front of Carillon and 
destroy the fort and intrenchnients. Or he could leave 
there part of his army, and with the rest turn the position 
and go up the river St. Fr6d6ric as far as a place called 
the Five Miles Point, where the stream is so narrow that 
a battery could absolutely command this passage. Carillon 
would thus be cut off from St. John ; all supplies stopped, 
and Montcalm obliged to surrender with his army after a 
few days, for want of food. He was aware of all that. ^*^ 
He knew that the crisis of his life was now at hand. He 
understood that the fate of a whole country was at stake, 
and that on his shoulders rested the responsibility of 
defeat or viAory, nay, of destruction or salvation. But he 

(i) A Dialogue in Nades, by Johnstone, pp. 21, 22, 23, 24. Historical 
Documents printed by the Litterary and Historical Society of Quebec. 


did not flinch in the face of peril. At this supreme hour, 
he showed of what metal he was made; his noble heart 
grew stronger at the approach of danger ; his powers rose 
in proportion to the emergency. Montcalm was never 
greater than during these days, when the fate of Carillon 
hung in the balance. 

His plans were formed at once. The most important 
thing for him was to gain time. He had written to Vau- 
dreuil, as soon as he had arrived at Carillon, asking him 
to send without a moment's loss all available reinforce- 
ments. And now he tried to check the enemy's advance 
by making a show of strength and determination. He 
ordered the battalions of La Reine, Guyenne and B^am 
under Bourlamaque to occupy the head of the Portage on 
the border of Lake St. Sacrement, and also sent forward 
the battalion of Royal-Roussillon and the first battalion of 
Berry to the right of the Falls and the battalions of La 
Sarre and Lang^iedoc to the left of that river, where he 
posted himself in person, to be equally within hail of all 
the parties. He left le Sieur de Trecesson at Carillon 
with the second battalion of Berry to command there. 
This bold manoeuvre which presented the appearance of a 
larger force than he had, retarded for some days the 
enemy's movements. According to the report of prisoners, 
their first plan had been to establish at the Portage, under 
the order of lord Howe, a head which the main army was 
to follow some days after ; this advance movement deter- 
mined them to march the entire army, which delaj^ed their 
operations until the fifth. Montcalm at the same time, 
went to reconnoitre and to determine the position he 

1758] UFE OF MONTCALM 233 

should take for the defense of Fort Carillon by occupying 
the heights that command it. ^'^ 

On the 5*^ of July, a lovely day, the English arlny 
embarked on 900 bateaux and 135 whale-boats, to the sound 
of martial music, with hundreds of flags fluttering in the 
morning breeze and, leaving behind them the ruins of 
William Henry, sailed on to vidlory. 

The army reached the landing place at the head of the 
River of the Falls, the following morning. Bourlamaque 
had his advanced posts there, but he was not strong enough 
to risk an engagement. He ordered the bridge at the 
Portage to be broken, and retreating with his three battal- 
ions, he joined Montcalm at the Falls, according to the 
latter's orders. There the five battalions of Berry, B^am, 
Royal-Roussillon, Guyenne and La Reine, crossed the 
river, destroyed the other bridge, and displayed themselves 
in battle array on the heights at their left, two miles from 
the fort. 

During this time the English army had disembarked and 
began its march through the woods on the western bank 
of the River of the Falls. The day before its landing, 
Bourlamaque had sent a detachment of 300 men com- 
manded by MM. de Langy and de Tr6p6zec to occupy the 
Bald Mountain on the west side of lake St. Sacrement, and 
observe the enemy's movements. This detachment was 
to make its retreat by the left of the River. Unfortu- 
nately, it lost its way in the woods and on the afternoon 
of the fifth, it suddenly met the vanguard of the enemy, 

(i) Paris Documents t X., p. 790. 

234 1*HE SIEGE OF QUEBEC [^758 

commauded by Lord Howe. The English army had lost 
itself in the forest. A sharp fight ensued ; the French 
detachment was overpowered by superior numbers. Six 
officers and one hundred and eighty-seven soldiers were 
i:illed or captured. But on the English side one man was 
lost who was worth five regiments : Lord Howe was shot 
dead at the first volley. 

For the English army his death was irretrievable. Aber- 
cromby seemed thunder-struck. The English regiments 
remained under arms during the whole night of the 6^ to 
the 7*^ of July, and declining to make his way on the 
left side of the river, this poor general ordered the army 
back to the landing place, sent Colonel Bradstreet to 
reestablish the broken bridges, and followed the traces of 
Bourlamaque from the Portage to the Falls where the 
army stopped for the night. The end was now near. 

For two days Montcalm had continued the construction 
of abatis intrenchments on the ground selecfted on the first 
of July. Pontleroy had traced them, and the battalions 
had worked with the greatest energy and enthusiasm. 
Montcalm's courage and determination seemed to animate 
each soldier. The intrenchments were construcfted of 
trunks of trees laid one on the other, having trees in front, 
the branches of which being cut and sharpened, formed a 
chevaux de frise. It followed the sinuosities of the ground, 
rising to the summits of the heights, and all the sections 
flanked each other reciprocally. ^"^ 

During the night of the seventh to the eighth of July, 

(i) Paris Documents, X, p. 793. 


the French battalions bivouacked along the intrench men t. 
A mile and a half only separated the two armies. It was 
a solemn night. In each camp, many were those who 
thought of the coming day with mixed feelings of hope 
and dread. Montcalm was hopeful. He had negledled 
nothing to turn the tables in his favor, and up to the pre- 
sent moment he had succeeded. Two days before he had 
written to M. Doreil : " I have victuals for eight days only, 
no Canadians and not one Indian. They have not come 
yet. I have to deal with a formidable army. Nevertheless, 
I don't despair. My troops are good. From the enemy's 
movements I can see that he wavers ; if, thanks to his 
slo\vness, he gives me time to establish myself on the 
ground I have seleAed on the heights of Carillon and to 
intrench myself there, I shall beat ihemy He had written 
the same to M. de Vaudreuil : " If they let me reach the 
heights of Carillon, / shall beat ihemy He was on the 
heights of Carillon. Would the following day justify his 
proud affirmation ? 

His hopes were strengthened during the night by the 
arrival of Pouchot with 300 regulars, and above all by the 
arrival of L^vis at five o'clock in the morning with 100 
men. It was a slim reinforcement, but their commander 
was a host in himself. From the i"* to the 6*'' of July, 
Montcalm had received only 400 Canadians and Marines. 
L^vis and Pouchot had brought 400 regulars. These were 
all. FaAs were proving that the division of forces and 
the Mohawk river expedition, under present circumstances 
were a mistake. Vaudreuil had been obliged to renounce 
it when he had learned that the lake Champlain frontier 


was threatened by the most powerful army ever seen in 

On the morning of the eight of July, the French batta- 
lions worked again to reinforce the intrenchments. At 
ten o'clock the light troops of the English began to show 
themselves. At noon the whole Anglo-American army was 
seen marching against Carillon. Immediately the French 
troops line the intrenchments. On the left La Sarre and 
Languedoc, with Bourlamaque : on the right B6am, La 
Reine and Guyenne, with L^vis ; in the Centre Royal- 
Roussillon and Berry with Montcalm himself. Two com- 
panies of volunteers proteAed the shore of the river. In 
the plain, on the other side, were placed the colonial 

This was the supreme moment. The English regiments 
advanced steadily : first Roger's scouts, the light infantry, 
and Bradstreet's boatmen opening an irregular fire ; next 
the provincials with their blue uniforms ; and at last the 
regulars spreading their red masses. They came on in 
four columns and reached the abatis ; in spite of the 
entangled trees they pressed forward and approached the 
intrenchments. Suddenly the command was given in a 
clear voice : Feu / A storm of lead and flame carried death 
to the English ranks. The battle had commenced. 

It was a hot and memorable day. For seven hours, the 
English colums made splendid assaults against these deadly 
intrenchments. Hundreds of brave soldiers fell at the foot 
of these thundering works, and hundreds pushing forward 
over their bodies, hurried to the front to meet a similar 
fate. At the beginning of the battle, the French left was 

1758] UVH 01^ MOMTCAr.M ^37 

the most strongly attacked. Two English columns were 
thrown against that point. Bourlamaque was dangerously 
wounded and replaced by M. de Senezergiies. The third 
column tried to storm the centre. But Montcalm was there 
with Royal-Roussillon. He exposed himself as the last 
soldier of his army, going to the left, to the right, raising 
enthusiasm and confidence everywhere. The fourth column 
directed its efforts on the right, and was hotly received 
by L6vis with B6arn and La Reine. 

During the afternoon some firing was heard towards the 
river. Barges filled with English soldiers tried to land 
near Carillon. But Montcalm had anticipated this. The 
volunteers of Bernard and Duprat were on the shore and 
opened fire on the barges. In the meantime the guns of 
the fort were levelled at them ; two barges were sunk and 
the rest retired. 

Towards four o'clock a desperate effort was made against 
the French right. The brave Highlanders were there, 
stubborn and unflinching soldiers, never daunted, never 
dispirited, always ready to charge. They press on, they 
force their way through the entanglement of trees ; their 
ranks are thinned by death ; but they heed it not ; forward I 
forward I until they are near the intrenchments. A few 
minutes more and they will force them. For one moment 
the fate of the day is doubtful. But L^vis encourages his 
soldiers to persevere. Montcalm, bare headed, hastens 
to the dangerous spot with his valiant grenadiers. Bay- 
onets glitter ; a deadly fire decimates the braves of Scotland. 
And, at the same moment, the Canadians and marine 
troops answering Levis' orders make a sortie on the flank 

238 TH^ SI^E OF QUEBEC [1758 

of the column. At last it gives way. Abercromby, who 
has not appeared on the battle-field, sends word to retreat. 
It is seven o'clock. Nearly two thousand English soldiers 
killed and wounded are lying in front of the French in- 

Montcalm had fought and vanquished ; he had won a 
great viAory ; more than that ; he had saved New-France 
from invasion and shed immortal glory on his flag and 

When he went through the lines that night, accompa- 
nied by L^vis, his soldiers hailed him with triumphant 
acclamations. They had a right to be jubilant, 3,800 men 
had repulsed 15,000. 

The General sent immediately an officer to carry these 
glorious tidings to the governor at Montreal. 

The day after, French scouts reported that Abercromby 
and his army had retreated from the Falls and the Portage, 
and reimbarked hastily for William Henry. 

We have seen already that Montcalm was a christian 
soldier. He proved it once more by having a big cross 
cre<5led on the site of his victory, with these two lines : 

Quid dux ? Quid miles ? Quid strata ingentia ligna 
Hn signum ! En vi(5tor ! Deus hie, Deus ipse triuinphat. 

Having composed himself this Latin inscription, which 
was a credit to his scholarship, he translated it in the 
following French verse. 

Chretien ! ce ne fut point Montcalm et sa prudence, 
Ces arbres renvers^s, ces h^ros, leurs exploits, 
Qui des Anglais confus ont bris6 Tesp^rance, 
C'est le bras de ton Dieu, vainqueur sur cette croix. 



^T^HE battle was fought and won. Montcalm had saved 
* the colony. And his victory had given him an 
immense prestige. But after the first moments of exulta- 
tion, very natural on such an occasion, he felt again the 
burden of public anxieties weighing heavily on his heart 
and mind. Carillon had been defended and protedled but 
Abercromby could return ; he had yet 14,000 soldiers and 
that strong army was not to be despised. Then what 
would be the fate of Louisbourg, and later on, of Front- 

But that was not all, Montcalm would have to submit 
to the same displeasure as the year before, after the fall 
of William Henry. As soon as the victory was won, M. 
de Vaudreuil who had failed to send the reinforcements 
in time, began to send them in excess after the crisis, 
and to write to the victorious general letters which were 
well calculated to exasperate him. Our readers must 
remember that after William Henry, Vaudreuil accused 
Montcalm of not having completed his victory in laying 
siege to Fort Lydius. This year he tried to show that 
Montcalm had neglected to reap the results of Aber- 


cromby's defeat, because he had not driven the latter alto- 
gether from the lake St-Sacrement frontier. He deluged 
the general with a shower of letters urging him to send 
strong detachments, to harass the enemy, to take advan- 
tage of their terror, to cut off their communication to old 
Fort George, intercept their convoys, oblige them to retire, 
and thereby deprive them forever of all hope of renewing 
their attempt. All this was stated in a letter dated at 
Montreal, the 12^^ of July, and was repeated under differ- 
ent forms by the Governor, in his letters of the 15"*, the 
16^, and the 17"* of July. 

On the 15^ he wrote: " I cannot sufficiently reiterate 
to you. Sir, all that I have had the honor to observe to you 
on that point. You are in fa6l now in a position to have 
constantly considerable detachments of Regulars, Cana- 
dians and Indians along the Lake and head of the Bay, to 
harass our enemies with vigor, to cut off their communi- 
cation with Lydius, to intercept their convoys, to force 
them to retire and perhaps even to abandon their artillery, 
field train, bateaux, provisions, ammunition, etc. . . . This 
is of such great consequence that, so far from reducing 
the forces that I have destined for you, I have nothing 
more pressing than to increase them, and to hasten their 
departure to you. You have the Hite of our officers, of 
our young men, of our Canadians and of our Indians." 

Again on the 16^** : " I cannot forbear having the honor 
again of renewing to you. Sir, all the observations I have 
submitted to you in my last letter. You cannot want for 
canoes, Canadians and Indians, to send out large detach- 
ments. We could not have a finer opportunity to oblige 

1758] I-"**I^ ^^' MONTCALM 241 

the enemy to retire from old Fort George." Ai^d on the 
jyih . " You perceive, Sir, that I have not negleAed any- 
thing for the prompt conveyance to you of a great number 
of Indians and the S/t/^ of our Canadians. You have now 
a very considerable force ; therefore, we have nothing 
better to do, as I have had the honor to observe to you, 
than to employ them, without the loss of a moment, in 

vigorously harassing our enemies, etc What I have 

had the honor to write to you on this subjeA in many of 
my letters, merits. Sir, your attention. Your brilliant 

affair must not remain incomplete These reasons. Sir, 

lead me to defer writing to France, because, in rendering 
the Court an account of your brave affair of the eighth of 
this month, I hope to inform it that we have not negledled 
the great advantage of the retreat and discouragement of 
our enemies, and that we have rendered it impossible for 
them to make any new attempts at least for this year." ^'^ 
Montcalm smarted under these leAures on the art of 
making victory fruitful. He addressed to the governor 
very sharp rejoinders. " It is always astonishing," he 
wrote, " that the Marquis de Vaudreuil considers himself 
qualified at a distance of fifty leagues to determine opera- 
tions of war in a country he has never seen, and where 
the best Generals, after having seen it, would have been 
embarrassed. The Marquis de Vaudreuil forgets that 
the army (English) was at least 20,000 strong, and accord- 
ing to several prisoners 25,000. Supposing that it had 
lost in killed and wounded 5,000 men, that a portion of 

(i) Puris Docutnents^ pp. 759-760. 
I— 16 


the Provincials had returned, they would still have 12 or 
14,000 men, and consequently the superiority in the field, 
and would be at liberty to do what they pleased in their 

country The Marquis de Vaudreuil will find in my 

observations some distrust of him ; this will never prevent 
me applying myself to the good of the service and of the 
Colony without embarassing myself with what people 
might write against me, either direAly or indireAly. But 
I do not conceal from the Marquis de Vaudreuil, that I 
shall be able to demonstrate to him on my return to 
Montreal, that, if he has had the goodness in his despatches 
of last year to pay me some euloguims which I cannot 
merit, he did not omit persuading the Minister of Marine 
that he had supplied me with the means of laying siege to 
Lydius Were I so fortunate, Sir, as that your impor- 
tant occupations would permit you to be at the head of the 
army, you would see everything yourself, and I should 
have the satisfaction to receive clearer and less embarrass- 
ing orders, and you would have judged that I have com- 
bined boldness, prudence and some activity. 

All this however did not prevent the Colony being 
played for on the eighth of July, odd or even {de pair ou 

7ion) M. d^Aillebout is arrived this moment and 

hands me the letter you have done me the honor to 
write me on the 15^**. As it generally contains only the 
same things you have done me the honor to write me 
on the 12^^, I have already answered them, whereunto 
I shall add, that I shall not be able to send large detach- 
ments by Lake St-Sacrement until I have reestablished 
my camps at the Falls and Portage, and sent over bateaux 

1758] 1-"**1^' «*•' MONTCALM 24;^ 

and canoes, a manoeuvre which is done only when executed, 
and advances less expeditiously in fadl than in theory. 
Up to this time I have done impossibilities in Canada with 
my slender means. I shall endeavor to do my best and 

require no spur To profit by the fear of enemies, 

would require to be in a condition to pursue them the very 
next day. ^'^ An army that can be pursued only by detach- 
ments ten or twelve days afterwards, gets rid of its fright" ^'^ 
During all this correspondence, Montcalm's temper ran 
high. We read in \\\s Journal: "A letter from the Mar- 
quis de Vaudreuil ; a sequel to the captious dispatches ; 
a snare unskilfully laid, because I was prepared for it 
Ononthio (Vaudreuil) says : " That viAory must yield 
great results, I send you all the troops. Rather safe occas- 
ion to expulse the enemy from lake St-Sacrement, to 
make the colony rich with artillery, barges," etc. What 
means does Ononthio give to drive away from their position 
15,000 men who are getting intrenched, and are well sup- 
plied for two months ? No doubt he gives an army supe- 
rior in numbers, well supplied with victuals, artillery, etc. 
No : neither victuals, nor the necessary outfit for portage. 
What do the Marquis de Vaudreuil's letters mean? and 
why, laboring under the scarcity of victuals, does he send 
obstinately that number of men who will serve only in 
eating our provisions? It is for the purpose of being 

(i) On the 8th of July Montcaliti had no Indians and few Canadians. 
That was the reason why he did not pursue Abercroniby. " If I had had 
two hundred Indians to head a detachment of one thousand picked men, 
under M. de I^vis* command, not many of the enemy would have 
escaped.'* Montcalm k Doreil, 8 juillet, 1758.) 

(2) Paris Documents, pp. 757. 758, 759. 

244 'I'H^ SI^GE OF QUEB]^C [^758 

enabled to write to the Court : " The Marquis de Montcalm 
had beaten the enemy ; they had retreated to the bottom of 
lake St-Sacrement, dispirited, and in great confusion ; 
immediately I had sent to him all the forces of the colony 
so that he could drive them from their position and profit 
by his own viAory. He could do it, but he did not do it." 
Here is the motive ; here is the secret thrust of this year. 
That of last year was : " He could take Fort Edward ; I 
have supplied him with means to do it ; but he would not 
do it." <■> 

Nothing could be more unfortunate than this quarrel 
between the two leaders. No doubt, Montcalm was not 
faultless during all these squabbles. He was too touchy, 
too impulsive, too easily irritated. , But we must state 
frankly that VaudreuiPs conduct was exasperating. Mont- 
calm was on the frontier, overladen with heavy cares and 
dreadful responsibilities, facing boldly a formidable enemy, 
giving his nights and his days to the work of checking 
invasion, spending his strength, his brains, his health to 
that purpose, risking his life and, more than his life, his 
fame to save New-France, and achieving glorious vidlories 
amidst awful odds and perils. And at the same time, 
Vaudreuil, who had absolutely no experience nor instruc- 
tion in war matters, comfortably seated in his chateau at 
Montreal, eighty leagues from the enemy, pretended to 
teach the brilliant general his own art, and to show, with 
pen and ink, how military wonders could be accomplished 
and miracles be realized. There may be strategists in 

(i) Journal de Montcalm, pp. 407, 408, 409. 


chamber. Moltke was one of them ; he could, from his 
private office at Berlin, diredl the moves of big armies and 
lead them to success. But Vaudreuil was no Moltke. He 
was a man of slender parts and was not luminous enough 
to shed his spare light on others. Instead of dictating war 
plans, he should have limited his ambition to the task of 
helping the military chiefs and seeing, as far as possible, 
that they were not hampered for want of means. 

This epistolary war raged for three weeks. Vaudreuil's 
parting shot was that Montcalm had ill treated the Indians 
and that they would not serve any more under him. 
Montcalm's answer was that his only crime had been to 
try to prevent them from pillaging the provisions of the 
hospital and of private persons, and of refusing them 
brandy. " Fa6ls, said he, ought to be believed in pre- 
ference to words. Indians you are aware, do only what 
they like ; but evil spirits often suggest to them and make 
them say in councils things they do not think of. The 
respeA I owe you. Sir, has prevented me writing to you 
that they have, in full council, complained of you having 
detained them whilst wishing to fly to our succor. They 
stated so both in public and in private. I made the public 
keep silent." ^'> 

Montcalm felt however that matters could not continue 
in this way. He was really devoted to the public good, 
and saw very well that these dissensions were fatal to 
Canada. So he generously made an effort towards conci- 
liation. On the second of August he sent to the Governor 

(i) Paris Documents, p, 811. 


a long letter which deserves to be quoted at some length : 
" Be assured, Sir," he wrote " that the personal matters of 
which I complain, and which I really impute to the com- 
posers of your letters, to the turbulent and mischief-making 
spirits who are seeking to estrange you from me, will 
never diminish either my zeal for the public good, nor my 
affection for you, nor my constant attention to write 
nothing but good of you and your brother, and not to 
speak of, nor afford a favorable coloring to things on which 
I think you have not fully determined. Wherefore should 
you not a<5l in the same manner by me. Why not alter 
your secretary's style. Why not give me more of your 
confidence? I dare say the King's service would gain 
thereby, and we should not have the air of disunion, which 
transpires to the degree that I send you a New- York news- 
paper which mentions it. 

" You believe. Sir, you are not to blame ; I, that I am not ; 
for I think I have always been prodigal of advances to you, 
and have g^ven way more than any other man in order to 
agree in opinion with you on all occasions. But false 
reports are made to you, efforts are made to embitter you ; 
for myself, I shall forget, although what you have written 
last year pain me ; I think you have not weighed its con- 
sequences, and I flatter myself, you will never have reason 
to suspecft my military coudu6l, when I do all that I know 
how .... Those who approach you have the ill address 
to endeavor, contrary to your intentions, to engage you to 
mortify, without wishing to do so, the General, the troops 
of the line and all that. What need have you, Sir, after 
my three years service under your orders, to prescribe 

1758] LU*U, OF MONTCALM 247 

to me useless or minute details, which I should blush 
to prescribe to a lowest captain ; that proceeds from 
your secretary having but one mould wherein to fashion 
instruAions and letters for all officers, from me down to 
the Colonial ensign. I have already had the honor to tell 
you that we do not think ourselves wrong, neither the one 
nor the other of us. It is to be supposed, then, that we 
are both so, and that some change must be applied to our 
mode of proceeding. For me. Sir, I shall neither answer 
complaints on your part, nor seek to justify myself, nor 
furnish you any memoir except when you will require it 
it of me or the King's service shall really be interested. 
You will write to me or aA as you please in the matter. 
If it be well in my regard, I shall be very grateful, and 
shall so express myself to you ; if ill, my silence will teach 
you that I am not. But I flatter myself that I shall not 
find myself in this case, after so frank a letter on my part, 
and which will prove to you that I am really willing to 
preserve your friendship and deserve your confidence until 
my departure ; for I request you to demand my recall on 
account of my health and of my debts. The Minister 
might suppose that I am induced to ask it because of my 
dissatisfaiStion with you. Sir ; that is also true, but you 
have at hand the remedy on this point, and you have it 
not on the other two." ^''This was a loyal and manly letter. 
The charaAer of the man who wrote it was impressed on 
every line. It told of frankness, of sincerity, of public 
spirit, of generosity and patriotism. 

(i) Parts Documents^ p, 778. 


Not only did Montcalm write this letter, but he sent his 
aide-de-camp, Bougainville to Montreal to see the governor 
and make every effort to reestablish good understanding. 
For a time, peace seemed to reign. Frontenac having 
fallen before an English army at the end of August, Vau- 
dreuil asked Montcalm to go to Montreal and hold a con- 
ference with him regarding the situation. 

We have seen in Montcalm's last letter to Vaudreuil 
that he had asked for his recall. He had done so as early 
as the 12^** of July. In a letter to Marshal de Belle-Isle, 
Minister of War, after having announced to him the 
glorious victory of Carillon, he added : " For myself, I do 
not ask you any other favor than to procure me the King's 
leave to return. My health suffers, my purse is exhausted. 
At the end of the year I shall owe the treasurer of the 
Colony ten thousand crowns (6cus). And, more than all, 
the trouble and contradictions I experience, the impossi- 
bility in which I am placed of doing good and preventing 
evil, determine me earnestly to pray His Majesty to g^ant 
me this favor, the only one for which I am ambitious." 
And Vaudreuil had most willingly seconded his demand 
in a letter to the Minister of Marine, dated the 20'** of 
August: " I supplicate you to demand of His Majesty the 
recall of the Marquis de Montcalm. He desires it himself 

and has requested me to demand it of you The King 

having confided the colony to me, I cannot avoid anti- 
cipating the unfortunate consequences which the Marquis 

de Montcalm's longer sojourn might produce The 

regular troops will be highly flattered to remain under the 
command of Chevalier de L6vis." 

"'""«" •r A.S!SiUH;;77- 


But after the fall of Frontenac, Montcalm changes his 
mind. He writes to the Minister of war : *' I had demanded 
mv recall after the glorious day of the eighth of July, but 
since the affairs of the colony are getting bad, it is my 
duty to repair them or to retard their ruin to the greatest 
extent of my power. I wish my intentions may be 
seconded ". 

Montcalm did not want to abandon Canada in its hour 
of gloom. 


the campaign of 1 758 — bougainville in france — 

vaudreuil's letters. 

A S a whole the campaign of 1758 had beeu very bad for 
•**• Canada. Frontenac had surrendered and so had Louis- 
bourg. On the frontier of Lake Champlain alone had the 
enemy's advance been checked by Montcalm's vi6lory at 
Carillon. It was evident that the English would make, 
a supreme effort next year, and send powerful armies 
against the French Colony. Without strong help from 
France the defence of the country would be impossible. 
Provisions, ammunition, soldiers were wanted, and if these 
reinforcements were not sent early in the spring of 1 759, 
the fate of Canada was sealed. Such was Montcalm's 
appreciation of the situation, and, under these circum- 
stances, he thought that it would be greatly desirable to 
send " an officer of intelligence and capable of instru6ling 
the Minister of Marine on every point." Vaudreuil con- 
curred in this idea, and Montcalm was fortunate enough 
to induce him to select M. de Bougainville for that mission. 
In the mean time, M. Doreil, commissary of war, obtained 
leave to go to France. They were both entrusted with 
the task of laying before the Court, every possible inform- 


atiou and to expose the urgent wants of the colony. They 
left for France on the 12^** of November. Vaudreuil and 
Montcalm had given them letters for the Ministers. But 
the Governor's character was manifested on this occasion, 
in a very peculiar and discreditable way. In his letter of 
introdu(5lion for Bougainville, — a letter that was to be deli- 
vered by that officer himself, — Vaudreuil said : " He is in 
all rcspe^fls better fitted than any body else to inform you 
of the state of the colony. I have given him my instruc- 
tions, and you can trust entirely in what he tells you." ^*^ 
To M. Doreil he gave a letter containing these lines : " I 
ha\*e full confidence in him, and he may be entirely 
trusted. Everybody here likes him." ^'^ These were 
splendid certificates* But at the same time, with the 
sauue pen, the GoN'emor wrote to the Minister of Marine : 
^^ In order to condescend to the wishes of M. de Montcalm^ 
jind lea\*e no means untried to keep in harmony with him, 
I hav^ giv^^ letters to MM. Doreil and Bougainville ; bat 
I hav« the honor to inform \x)u, Monseigneur, that they 
00 aot understand the colony, and to warn \x)u that thev 
ir^ cr^jLtures of \f . de Xfontcalm/' ^^ It is to be regretted 
fvC M. ie Vaudreuil that these letters were written by him 
irji ver^ iepc in the ministerial archives of Franoe. 
- Trz5C ti^m. — IV> net trust them/* These words written 
cif ibe SLLz^ rse::. oa the same day reveal the duplicity ct 

1758] LlFIi OK MONtCALM 253 

Vaudreuil. It can be seen that reconciliation between the 
governor and the general was more apparent than real. 
On the first and fourth of November, the former wrote to 
the Minister in very disparaging terms against the latter. 

The campaign was over. The troops had taken their 
winter quarters. Montcalm was again at Montreal. Before 
leaving Carillon, he had written to his wife: " Thanks to 
God ! all is over now until the first days of May. If God 
does not decide otherwise, we shall have to fight mightily 

during the next campaign The enemy have had this 

year at Louisbourg', here, or at the Beautiful River, fifty 
or sixty thousand men in the field ; and, we, how many did 
we have ? I dare not tell it. Adieu, my heart, I long after 
peace and thee ; love me all. When shall I see again my 
Candiac. My health has to be good, but work tells upon it ; 
here we must be every thing and in touch with every thing ; 
this is a good school for learning details. I love you more 
than ever." On the 21"* of November, by the last ship 
leaving Canada for France, he writes to his mother. " You 
will be glad to have me write to you up to the last moment 
to tell you for the hundredth time that, occupied as I am 
with the fate of New-France, the preservation of the troops, 
the interest of the state, and my own glory, I think contin- 
ually of you all. We did our best in 1 756, 1 757 and 1 758 ; 
and so, God helping, we will do in 1 759, unless you make 
peace in Europe." 

Montcalm had now been in Canada for nearly three 
years. He had fought glorious battles but he had also 
studied, observed, gathered information, and in that man- 
ner he had acquired a thorough knowledge of the country, 

254 'l^K SIEGE OF QUEBEC t<75^ 

of its cxmditkmSy of its reqairements, of its weakness and 
poissibilities, of the shamefnl abases and 

vices under which it laboured, and which were as instru- 
mental as the armies of Pitt in bringing about its fall. 
After liaving read Montcalm's writings, after having had 
for many weeks constant intercourse with the records of 
this great man, we have no hesitation in saying that he 
was not only a soldier, but also, and perhaps above all, a 
thinker, a statesman, a political philosopher, a man who 
could govern, speak and write. He was by far the most 
remarkable and brilliant figure among all those who were 
connected with the destinies of New-France at that moment. 
By his scolarship, his wide range of information, his vast 
experience reaped during his many campaigns in Italy, in 
Germany, and during his thirty-four years of service, by 
his wit, his lively style, his warm eloquence, in a word by 
that variety of talents which were united in his person, he 
towered above the short-sighted and narrow-minded Vau- 
dreuil, who sinks into insignifiance besides his lofty qua- 
lities. The latter was not able to understand him. In 
SeptemlKir he had asked Montcalm for a memoir on the 
general situation and defence of the Colony. The pages 
he received in answer were brimming with new and fruit- 
ful ideas, with bold views, with wise suggestions. ^'^ In 
reading these, the slow and routine-worshipping governor 
recoiled in horror and detestation. He denounced to the 
Minister ** the fallacy of the memoir, the passion with 
which it was drawn up, the desire of carping at the govem- 

(i) /Sir is J)ocumcnts, X, p. 874. 

1758] i.IKU 01« MONTCALM 255 

menty the hankering after mnovation." Too much light 
is dangerous to certain eyes. Vaudreuil was a good private 
man, honest, disinterested for himself, and desirous of pro- 
moting the public welfare. But he was sluggish, conceited, 
deficient in learning, scandalously weak for his relatives 
and blind to their faults, vain, boastful and punctilious, 
and utterly incompetent for the duties of his office. 

Montcalm was also intelledlually superior to L6vis, 
although the Chevalier was a clever man ; he had supe- 
rior knowledge, more elevation, a higher culture and 
nobler aims. The chara6ler of L6vis has not been thor- 
oughly and deeply studied yet. It does not at all agree with 
the conventional pidlure that has been sometimes offered to 
posterity as its true likeness. He was an intelligent and 
well educated man, without being a scholar. He had not 
a great knowledge of books, but possessed a useful science 
of men. He was cool-headed, colledled, cautions, clear- 
sighted, and shrewd. Master of the art of living well with 
everybody, he was always skilful enough to avoid being 
implicated in other people's quarrels, and could trim his 
sails so cleverly as to remain friendly with men bitterly 
estranged by prejudice or ambition. So it was that Vau- 
dreuil was unceasing in his praise towards him, and that 
Montcalm always gave him his entire confidence. A 
talented soldier and an accomplished courtier, he con- 
stantly rose in rank, honours and wealth, when many of 
his associates in early life remained half-way or sunk into 
disgrace or oblivion. After having begun his career as a 
cadet de famille and a modest lieutenant, he died a marshal 
of France, a duke and peer, a governor of Artois and Arras, 


with pensious, emoluments and allowances amountiug to 
97,470 francs. We are aware that the pictures we have 
drawn of Montcalm, Vaudreuil, and L6vis, are not those 
of several historians of repute, but impartial study of a larg^e 
number of documents, many of which have never been 
published, will permit no other conclusions. 

Montcalm, especially, has been very differently treated, 

and assigned a much lower rank* He had undoubtedly 

many failings, he was impulsive and quick tempered. It 

has been said that he was ambitious. No doubt he was. 

^ut his ambition was not of a low order. 

He aimed at the bdton of Marshal and at a seat in the 
Academy, and he would have likely attained both in due 
time had he returned to France after Carillon. He has 
l>een accused of being a jealous man. We are unable to 
detect that in \\\s Journal ^ \\\ his letters, in his many writ- 
ings. He is always profuse of praise for L6vis, for Bour- 
lamaque, endeavouring on all occasions to put his lieuten- 
ants in a favorable light, asking for them promotion and 
distinction. But he was jealous of Vaudreuil it is said. 
He was not. He did not like him; he thought him dull, 
weak minded, unequal to his great responsibilities. But 
this is not jealousy. Montcalm had imperfections and was 
not irreproachable. We have pointed already to some of 
his failings and mistakes. But with all his faults and 
weak i)oints, the sterling qualities of his heart and mind 
made him a most interesting, striking and fascinating 
personality. ^'^ 

(1) In II letter of MarshaU de BeUe-Isle, dated the 31st of July 1748, 

J 75*^] '-"^'^ <>'•* MONTCALM 257 

All this is a disgressiou. Let us return to facts. The 
winter of 1758-59 was a repetition of the preceding. Mont- 
calm went to Quebec on the 22"^ of September and stayed 
there until the beginning of March. He occupied again 
his house on Rampart street, paid his usual visits to the 
Rue du Parloir^ and was seen far too often at the Inten- 
dant's Palace and at Mde. Plan's. To L6vis, who had no 
right to be severe, ^'^ he excused himself on account of his 
forced inactivity. 

The harvest was considered better than in the previous 
year. Nevertheless the distress was again very great. W^ 
read in Montcalm's Journal : " The harvest in the colony 
is not so good as it was thought at first, specially in the 
Quebec government. The reduction to four ounces of bread 
a day is spoken of." In January Montcalm wrote : " Awful 
distress in the Quebec governinent." And immediately : 
" Balls, amusements, country parties, big gambling." The 
same scandals as in 1 758 ! A few weeks after, he wrote 
again : " Pleasure parties in spite of the public distress 
and of the impending loss of the colony, have been unceas- 
ing at Quebec. Never have so many Balls taken place, 
nor such gambling notwithstanding the defence of last 

M. Doreil, the commissary of war, wrote the following : ** Whether the 
war is to continue or not, if it be desirous to serve and settle Canada 
solidly, let His Majesty confide the general government of it to the 
Marquis de Montcalm. He possesses political science as well as military 
talent ; a statesman and a man of detail, a great worker, just, dis- 
interested even to scruple, clearsighted, active, and having nothing in 
view but the public good, in a word, a virtuous and universal man." 

(i) M, de L^vis was very intimate at Montreal with Mrs. P^nisseault, 
the wife of the famous P^nisseault, one of the chiefs of the clique who 
were bleeding Canada to death. 



year. The GovemorGeneral and the Intendant liaTe 

Daring all tliis winter, Mootcalm's heart was foil of 
sadness, and his mind fall of gloomy thoughts. He was 
afraid to loc^ into the fntnie. On the 14^ of Jannaxy he 
wrote to Levis : ^^ Peace, or everything will go wrong. 
Seventeen handled and fifty-nine will he wofse than 175& 
What shall we do ? I see darkness ahead ! ^ Montcalm 
knew that the next campaign wonld he fatal to Canada, if 
some anexpecled change did not take place. He saw the 
colony a prey to a cliqne of knaves and thieves. He was 
far from the mother conntry, far from his dear home, his 
never forgotten Candiac, his beloved mother, wife and 
children. And his heart sometimes was full to overflow^ 
ing. In one of these moments he borst into, this ek)qnent 
exclamation : ^' O King, worthy of being more faithfully 
served ; ^'^ dear conntry crashed with taxation in order to 
enrich robbers and vampires, with the general complicity I 
Shall I keep my innocence as I have done her^ofore 
amidst corruption ? I shall have defended this colony, I 
shall carry a debt of io,cxx> ^cus^ and I shall see rich a 
Ralig, a Caban, a Cecile, a lot of men withoat faith, of 
scoundrels interested in the pro\nsioning undertaking, 
heaping up in one year four or five hundred thousand 
francs, and making lavish and insulting expenses ! " 

Montcalm had gradually gathered sufficient information 
to see through the scandalous and criminal organization 

(i) King Loais XV was not worthy of being served by snch men as 
Montcalm. Bot the general was a man of his own time. For him iAr 
King was the Country. 

1758] ^-^^^^- OV MONTCALM 259 

which was devouring thes ubstance of Canada. Bigot; 
P&in, who had gone to France recently with a fortune, 
Descheneaux Bigot's Secretary, Cadet the Coutradlor- 
General, etc., formed a kind of a league to plunder and 
pillage New-France. It was robbery all round. Mont- 
calm's piercing eye had detected all this. His honest 
heart chafed at such a spedlacle. At last he felt bound to 
inform his Minister of what was going on. On the 12^ of 
April, he wrote to the Marshal of Belle-Isle : " Canada 
will be taken this campaign, or assuredly during the 
next, if there be not some unforeseen good luck, a powerful 
diversion by sea against the English Colonies, or some 
gross blunders on the part of the enemy. 

" The English have 60,000 men, we at most 10 to 1 1,000. 
Our government is good for nothing ; money and provi- 
sions will fail. Through want of provisions, the English 
will begin first ; the farms scarcely tilled, few cattle, the 
Canadians are dispirited ; no confidence in M. de Vaudreuil 
or in M. Bigot. M. de Vaudreuil is incapable of preparing 
a plan of operations. He has no activity ; he lends his 
confidence to empirics rather than to the General sent by 
the King. M. Bigot appears occupied only in making a 
large fortune for himself, his adherents and sycophants. 
Cupidity has seized officers, store-keepers; the commis- 
saries also who are about the River St. John, or the Ohio, 
or with the Indians in the Upper County, are amassing 
astonishing fortunes. It is nothing but forged certificates 

legally admitted This expenditure, which has been 

paid at Quebec by the Treasurer of the Colony, amounts 


to twxntj^^nir luilliotis. The year before, the exi)enses 
i^UKuiutcil only to twelve or thirteen millions. This year 
they will run up to thirty-six. Every body appears to be 
iu A hurry to make his fortune before the Colony is lost^ 
which c\xut many, perhaps, desire, as an impen^iable 
v^il vA^tr their condutfl. The craving after wealth has an 
iuA\icuce oa the war, and M. de Vaudrenil does not doabt 
U. lu^^le^i of reducing the expenses of Canada, people wish 
K^ let^in all ; how can we abandon positions which serve as 
a {Mf^^fext Iv^ make pri^^ate fortune ? Transpcxtatioa is dis- 
lnWte4 Iv^ l^xxwites^ The agreement with the oootzactxM' 
k wntkvK'wti to me as it is to the public It is i ^o rted 
t)ut t^>e$e who hax^ invaded comm^ce paitic^ate 
H.j^ tW Rtu^ need ctf purchasing goods for the 
l;te$^Mii or ImtTtwg than diTCicUr^ a fararite is 
)Kt:^Skji:$a($ ait amy pnc^ wluie\^^: then \L Bfego( 
;<till^H(l^i V t^ Kw^^s: ;stoees^ aliowii^ a prait of 

I I f I «. 

i iitT per cent. «>&ase 

1758] LIFE OF MONTCALM 26 1 

participate in those illicit profits, hate the Government.'' ^'^ 

This eloquent letter did not however give an accurate 
idea of the situation. The scope of this biographical study 
does not permit us to go at further length into the details 
of the vast association for plundering, that spread its net 
over this unfortunate colony. Be it said to Montcalm's 
honour that he detected its schemes and denounced it 

Could it be possible that Vaudreuil did not know what 
was going on, or that seeing it, he tried to protedl the 
culprits, and first of all the Intendant ? One of these two 
alternatives must be chosen : either stupidity or complicity. 
For it is an established fadl that the governor defended 
Bigot. When the Minister of Marine made known his 
suspicions against the Intendant, a few months before the 
fall of the colony, M. de Vaudreuil wrote to him : " I 
cannot conceal from you, Monseigneur, how deeply M. 
Bigot feels the suspicions expressed in your letters to 
him. He does not deserve them, I am sure. He is full 
of zeal for the service of the King ; but as he is rich, or 
passes as such, and as he has merit, the ill disposed are 
jealous, and insinuate that he has prospered at the expense 
of his Majesty. I am certain that it is not true, and that 
nobody is a better citizen than he, or has the King's 
interest more at heart." ^'^ This letter alone would justify 
all Montcalm's fits of temper against the poor governor. 

(i) Montcalm au Mar6chal de Belle-Isle, Montreal, 12 avril 1759. — 
Paris Documents t X, p. 960. 

(2^ Vaudreuil au Ministre, 15 octobre 1759. — Parkman, Montcalm and 
Wolfe, II, p. 31. 


During that winter of 1759 the name of Bougainville 
came often under the pen or from the lips of Montcalm 
and the other leaders of the colony. They were anxious 
for tidings. Would he be successful ? What news would he 
bring on his return ? At last, spring b^^n to set in. And 
on the 16^ of May Montcalm's aide-de-camp arrived safely 
at Quebec. He was laden with honors and personal 
rewards granted by the King to the defenders of New- 
France ; but as far as reinforcements were concerned, he 
had been unsuccesful. Montcalm was appointed lieute- 
nant-general, L^vis Major-General, Bourlamaque Briga- 
dier and Knight of St-Louis. The ministers wrote to the 
viAor of Carillon eulogistic letters. Marshal de Belle-Isle, 
after having said that the King's government could not 
send the troops and supplies asked for, added : " How small 
soever may be the space you are able to hold, it is indis- 
pensable to keep a footing in North America; for if we 
once lose the country entirely, its recovery will be almost 
impossible. The King counts on your zeal, courage and 
persistency to accomplish this object, and relies on you to 
spare no pains and no exertions. Impart this resolution 
to your chief officers, and join with them to inspire your 
soldiers with it. I have answered for you to the King ; 
I am confident that you will not disappoint me, and that 
for the glory of the nation, the good of the state, and your 
own preservation you will go to the utmost extremity 
rather than submit to conditions as shameful as those 
iin|K)sed at IvOuisl)ourg, the memory of which you will wipe 
out." With these words, the old Marshall was, unknow- 
ingly, sending to Montcalm his death-warrant. The 

1758] LWli OK MONTCALM 263 

general answered simply. " I dare say I shall do every 
thing to save that unhappy colony, or die." He was going 
to keep his word. 

Bougainville had brought him news from Candiac min- 
gled with joy and sorrow. The marriage of his eldest son 
with an heiress was settled, and his eldest daughter was 
married to M. d'Espinouse. But on the other hand, at the 
last moment, Bougainville had heard that one of his other 
daughters was dead, he could not say which of them. " It 
must be poor Mir^te said the unhappy father. I love her 
so much ! " Before receiving this news he had written to 
his wife " Can we hope for another miracle to save us ? 
I trust in God ; he fought for us on the eighth of July. 
Come what may, his will be done ! I wait the news from 
France with impatience and dread. We have had none for 
eight months, and who knows if much can reach us at all 
this year. How dearly I have to pay for the dismal pri- 
vilege of figuring two or three times in the gazettes ! " In 
the beginning of June, he wrote again : " Our daughter is 
well married. I think I would renounce every honor to 
join you again ; but the King must be obeyed. The mo- 
ment when I see you once more will be the brightest of 
my life. Adieu, my heart ! I believe that I love you more 
than ever." Alas! never more was he going to see his 
noble wife in this world. 

Bougainville had also brought the news that the English 
had directed a big armament against Quebec. On the 22"^ 
of May Montcalm arrived in the capital and learnt that 
ten English vessels were at Bic. Vaudreuil followed him 
on the 23^^. And they prepared the defence. Five batta- 


lions, the greater part of the Marine troops and the militia 
were ordered thither. It was decided to establish a fortified 
camp from the Sault Montmorency to the River St-Charles. 
During the whole of June the works of defence were pushed 
forward, redoubts built and batteries eredled. 

At the same time the British fleet, with its innumerable 
sails swelled by a most favorable easterly wind, was comings 
up the St. Lawrence. Bach tide was bringing it faster 
and nearer. Twenty-two ships of line, thirty frigates and 
a multitude of transports bearing nearly nine thousand 
regulars and many thousand marines composed that pow- 
erful armada. On both shores an alarmed population 
noticed its advance with dread and dismay. At night, from 
village to village, from cape to cape, the light of numerous 
fires signalled the enemy's progress. On the 27^ they were 
at Kamouraska ; on the 28^ at I'Isle-aux-Coudres ; on the 
9^ of June at Cape Tourmente, where they remained some 
days before crossing the Traverse ; on the 25*^ at the 
Island of Orleans ; on the 27^^ they landed there and also 
at Pointe Levis, on the south Shore. The third siege of 
Quebec liad iDegun. 

Admiral Saunders commanded tlie British fleet. The 
general officer at the head of the expedition was James 

Montcalm and Wolfe were at Quebec ; the end of the 
seven years' struggle was near at hand. Our task is here 
finished. In another volume will be found the narrative 
of the Siege of Quebec, of the battle of the Plains of Abra- 
ham, and of the death of the two heroic leaders. 



K. G.. V. C. 

The portrait of Lord Roberts which faces the dedication of this vol- 
ume, is from an excellent photograph, by Messrs Elliot & Fry, of 
London, who permitted a photogravure to be made for this work. 

The dedication of these volumes was kindly accepted by Lord Roberts 
while in Bloemfonteine, and upon the return of his lordship to England 
a proof of the photogravure was submitted to him, and the engraving is 
now published with his approval and authority. 


It is diflicult to reconcile the fcniureft of the various i)ortniits which 
exist of General Wolfe, or to determine which conveys the most faithful 
representation of the hero of Quebec. 

The earliest authentic portrait of Wolfe appears to have been painted 
by Highmore, about 1749, and to have been presented by Wolfe to his 
tutor at Greenwich, the Reverend Samuel Francis Swindon, to whose 
great great grand daughter. Miss. Armstrong, and her brother, Scobell 
Armstrong, Esqr.^ I am indebted for a photograph of the painting, and 
also for the interesting article which is annexed to these notes. This 
portrait was reproduced for the last edition of " Montcalm and Wolfe," 
by Parkman, but Mr. Armstrong considers the present engraving to be 
the only faithful reproduction of the painting. 

The latest sketch of Wolfe is no doubt the profile in pencil by 
Hervey Smith, which was made on the field shortly before the General's 
death. For knowledge of the existence of this sketch I am indebted to 
Lord Dillon, of the Tow^r of London, 




\^ iHv ^Ack v4 Iht' tt^me cxMiUining this sketch there is the follow- 

\vv^ ^^^H^^K^l ^^ Thi* (HMtin^it of iiiMienil WoUe, from which his iMist 

'^ V* ^^^^sH^vA\U UKtM xw^ Iww^ilv sk«lchtd by Henrey Smyth, oae of Iti 

' A^ vlv^ ^^^^^v< A x^y *Ks>it tiiUff bifK^re th^t distiiicntshed 

KUW4 s^M IW I^Ux^ v^t' x\U^hAiii. It thett cjune iato the 

v\>]Kv*^^ v^x^U^^v AiiK>tlK« v>l the iVtoewd'^ ^Lid^JeHcsuips. 

^^U^^N^^MNks. M Vk^<<UU\ ; Aiik4 ftvMM hu« tv> MxSL SiMoae. the Ooloaei^ 

>^4i^ 'Ai^^^^^ *^ h^it^JBsi ; th<« K^ >Uj<ir i>»enl Huiii^ (^^^o 

V>' ^N^i^^Xf^K W >nIIcW^ 1«5!»^ jt^:X^«<»£ tint ii^iBSs ^^ ^ 31 
'««^ :Kv0^ib>^ x^SK^«^>«t^ >ll>;3^ 4. $t« v;il6$^ ^Kldst ^ihsK 


possession of General Fowler Burton, C. B., of Stoke Danierel, Daven- 
port, and has been in his family for generations. A copy was kindly 
sent by the General to the writer. 

Many years ago Mr. E. A. Glover had in his possession two small 
paintings of Wolfe, which at one time belonged to Col. Stirling of the 
36th Foot. One represented Wolfe tying a handkerchief round his 
wrist, and the other represented him leaning upon a soldier. They were 
believed to have been painted by one of Wolfe's friends who was present 
at the battle. 

I have been unable to trace the present owners of these paintings. 

Mr. Paul Liecester Ford contributed an excellent article to the Cen- 
tury Magazine in January 1898, on ** Portraits of General Wolfe ** with 
five wo|d cuts of the General. 

There are .several portraits of Wolfe, and a large number of prints 
to be found in private and public colle<flions, but those already mentioned 
are probably amongst the best and most authentic. 

The descriptive note of the ** Highmore " portrait, which is here 
given, was written by Miss Armstrong for the Century Magazine, but it 
was not published. 



The appearance of Mr. Ford's article on the portraits of Wolfe in the 
January Century, has suggested to me that the public may be interested 
in hearing that there is in existence an authentic portrait of General 
Wolfe, which has remained unknown in England because it*s owners 
have never exhibited it, or had it reproduced. 

The portrait is in the possession of my Mother, Mrs. Armstrong of 
Nancealveme, Penzance. It was painted by Joseph Highmore, and 
given by Wolfe to his tutor, my great-great grandfather, the Rev. 
Samuel Francis Swindon; from whom it passed successively to his 
daughter Mrs. Gumell and to her daugher who married my grandfather 
Col. John Armstrong. On the back of it is written the following inscrip- 
tion : "This is the portrait of Gen. James Wolfe painted by Highmore 
about the year 1749. The General sat for it for the express punK)se of 
presenting it to his much esteemed friend and tutor the Rev. S. F. 
Swindon, it is the only portrait the General ever sat for ; it represents him 


in is ensign's uniform of the 20th. Reg^. when he was preparing to join 
that corps on getting his first commission, which subsequently became 
so famous under his command. All other pictures of this renowned 
man are copies taken from a minature, which was drawn from this 
pidture by the desire and for the General 's Mother after his lamented but 
glorious death. " 

This inscription was composed by my grandfather Col. Armstrong, 
and his authority for statements contained in it must have been his 
mother-in-law, Mr. Swindon's daughter, who lived till 1835. 

After the publication of the late Mr. Francis Parkman's " Montcalm 
and Wolfe " a photograph taken from our portrait was sent by me to the 
historian, who had it reproduced as a frontispiece to the eleventh and 
subsequent editions of *' Montcalm and Wolfe " (Vol. II.) 

Owing to the shortcomings of the photograph, it gives very little 
idea of the original. Later I painted a small water colour copy of the 
portrait, and sent it to Mr. Parkman whose cordial and appreciative 
thanks were a great pleasure to me. 

lyast year at the request of Messrs. IJttle and Brown, Mr. Parkman's 
publishers, we had the portrait again photographed, and the photograph 
has been excellently reproduced by Messrs. Goupil for the forthcoming 
illustrated edition of Mr. Parkman's works. 

In the note relating to the first reproduction Mr. Parkman says : 
'* It is believed that Wolfe never again sat for his portrait." That is our 
belief, and we claim that our portrait is the last, if not the only portrait 
for which Wolfe ever sat to a professional portrait painter. The repro- 
duction and account of the Warde portrait given in the Century have 
convinced me that it cannot, as Mr. Parkman thought possible, be one of 
the copies mentioned by my grandfather. It evidently represents Wolfe 
at an earlier age than that at which Highmore painted him, and the 
strong likeness between the two portraits is just what one would expect 
between the portrait of a boy of fifteen and that of the same boy grown 
into a man and developed in body and mind. 

Of the other supposed Wolfe portraits reproduced in the Century it 
is sufficient to say that they represent a handsome young man with a 
straight nose and large eyes, and bear not the slightest resemblance to 
the Warde portrait, our portrait, the full length engraving of Wolfe 
with a black band round his arm, and the profile sketches of Wolfe in 
the National Gallery. 


Writing to me, Mr. Parkuian said of my water colour copy : ** One 
sees in it— what the photograph fails to show— the genu as it were of 
those odd facial lines which appear in the later profiles and in the monu- 
ment in Westminster Abbey.*' 

Those odd facial lines which make Wolfe's face such a peculiar one 
are even more conspicious in the original than in the photogravure. 
Though still softened to a certain extent by youth they are yet so marked 
that Mr. Parkman*s description of Wolfe appearance in later life, might 
stand as a description of our portrait ! 

" The forehead and chin receded, the nose slightly upturned, formed 
with the other features the point of an obtuse triangle, the mouth was 
by no means shaped to express resolution, and nothing but the clear 

bright piercing eye bespoke the spirit within ** The expression of 

the eyes is a little lost in the photogravure, it is very bright and self 
confident. The uniform is faced with yellow. 

I regret that I have not access to any of Wolfe's biographies, but I 
am told that his connection with Mr. Swindon is mentioned in them, and 
that one of them states that Wolfe was god-father to one of Mr. Swindon *s 
daughters. *' 



It is singular that no reference is made to Miss Lowther in any of 
the letters of Wolfe which have so far been brought to light, although 
he undoubtedly mentioned her name to several of his intimate friends. 

A facsimile of Wolfe's will has been made for this work, and in the 
first paragraph of this interesting document, which is entirely in the 
General's handwriting, directions are given for the disposal of Miss 
Lowther *s picture. 

On the 12th of September, 1759, a few hours before the battle of the 
Plains, Wolfe appears to have had a presentiment that he would not 
survive the issue of the coming day. In the course of a conversation 
with his friend John Jervis, the companion of his school days at Green- 
wich, he requested him to take charge of a miniature of Miss Lowther, 
and to restore it to her if his forebodings were realised. The miniature 
in question was taken to England by Commander Jervis, afterwards the 
Earl of St. Vincent, by whom it was probably handed to Captain Bell, 


A. D. C. The Captain apparently delivered the picture to General 
Wolfe's mother, as we find a letter dated the 24th of November, 1759, in 
which ''the Captain hopes that Mrs. Wolfe received the picture," the 
will, and other documents mentioned. 

When Wright, the biographer of Wolfe, was engaged upon his 
book, he made inquiry regarding the picture as will be seen from the 
quotation from his work here given, but he was not successful. 

** Miss Lowther remained unmarried until the 8th. of April, 1765, 
when she became the second wife of Harry, sixth and last Duke of 
Bolton. Her grace died at Grosvenor Square, in 1809, aged 75, leaving 
two daughters. 

*' I regret that, notwithstanding the courteous assistance of the Mar- 
quis of Winchester, my endeavours to discover whether the fore-men- 
tioned portrait of the Duchess is still preserved, have proved ineffectual. 
Inquiries of her Grace's lineal representatives remain unanswered, owing 
probably to the recent death of the late Duke of Cleveland.'' 

During the preparation of this work information concerning the 
miniature was sought from the lineal descendants of the Duchess of 
Bolton, and by the diredlion graciously given by Her Grace the Duchess 
of Cleveland, of Battle Abbey, and by Lord Bolton, of Bolton Hall, two 
distindt portraits of Miss Lowther have been found. 

The plate inserted in this volume is from a miniature in the posses- 
sion of Ivord Barnard, of Raby Castle. It is believed to represent 
Katherine, Duchess of Bolton, and to be the work of the well known 
miniature painter, Cosway. 

The engagement of General Wolfe to a Miss Lowther appears to 
have been well known in the county of Westmorland, but tradition has 
preserved the name of Miss Barbara Lowther, sister to Miss Katherine, 
as the fiancee of the General, to which fadt Lord Barnard drew attention 
when sending the photograph of the miniature. The letter written by 
Miss Katherine lyowther from Raby Castle (i) on the iSth of December, 
1759, which is here given, would seem to prove that tradition in this 
case is not corredt. 

(i) ** Miss Lowther was probably on a visit to heir sister, Margaret 
Countess of Darlington, whose husband, Henry, Earl of Darlington, 
succeeded to Raby in the previous year, 1758. on the death of his father." 
— Extract from letter of Lord Barnard, 2y Sep. igoo. 


• i 


** Miss. Aylmer's having once answerd a letter I wrote Mrs. Wolfe, 
drew me into the error of addressing her again ; but I now desire you to 
accept my sincere thanks for your obliging (tho') melancholy epistle. 
I*m not surpriz*d to hear ye patient sufferer submits with calmness and 
resignation to this severe trial, because I could never doubt the magnan- 
imity of General Wolfe *s mother ;— but I wish, if her health wou'd permit, 
she cd. by degrees be brought to bear new objects ; perhaps they might 
call her attention one moment from ye. melancholy subject which en- 
groses it, and in time dissipate, tho* not efface or drive away from ye. 
memory so just and deep a sorrow :— not that I shall ever attempt intrud- 
ing my company, since (tho* I feel for her more than words can express, 
and should, if it was given me to alleviate her grief, gladly exert every 
power which nature or compassion has bestowed) — yet I feel that we are 
the ye last people in the world who ought to meet. 

*' I knew not my picture was to be set ; but I beg Madm. ye will tell 
Mrs. Wolfe, I entreat her to take her own time about giving ye necessary 
directions. I can't, as a mark of His affection, refuse it ; otherwise 
cou*d willingly spare myself ye pain of seeing a picture given under far 
different lio|>es and expectations. Mrs. Wolfe will, I hope, accc[)t my 
acknowledgments for her good wishes, and that Almighty God may com- 
fort and support her is ye earnest prayer of, 

** Madam, 
** Your obliged humble Servant, 


A copy of this letter was sent to I/)rd Barnard, who after reading it 
and showing it to a gentleman in the County, expressed his opinion that 
it was Miss Katherine Lowther to whom General Wolfe was engaged. 

General Wolfe gave directions by his will for the picture of Miss 
Lowther to be set in jewels to the extent of five hundred guineas, and to be 
returned to her. A bill of a jeweller and a receipt for five hundred guineas 
for setting a picture is found amongst the papers at one time in the pos- 
session of Mrs Wolfe, and as the number of the large stones mentioned 


Ihnli^lM MHi^lUii III H)|li*M wKli ilii> number of those found in the frame of 
lli^ tMlMlHhlti* IM \\w |itiM)ii»MMluii of Loixl Iluniaixi, It is probable that it is 
thi* liti^UU^U mlUlHluiv vvxiiii by Wolfe, but no more positive 
\\\\\ W \m\W \s\\ IbiM \^\^{\\\^ 

i\w nvh'^m^l |i^Ml(t^U wf MiiMi l«o\vthcr iu vol. II, is from a 
>\U\NUH|| \S\ \\\yf^ \Sif^^^\\\\\ \\i{\\p \i(k\\ i4 l«oiisdiile, of Lowther 
Whh^H .\ )^h\sU>||^i^vh \vt Uu)4 v'lxi^wui ilmwiiii^ was kindly 
\\NV\V ^W ^H^ vN^UHlvwi \Mf U\\H)^UWx \vW *l:i50 dinxted the 
\^\V\ ^>v 1^ h^N^\\\\VHs \nv \I\^^ v*\\^ Ih^l (xMicf^l WoWe always 

S V ^Sn^^VA^ V^W^^x^A^Wife y>t IW 4eaih ol WoMc 
H^^ vi^^^\ ^M^ #*Ms\x8*,N> "^ \* vVI^ K> Missi U Oa t^ 

\VH 'iW^^^tV ^(MiV^: :f«»^ >ltrtt. 

>s^. V 'V"* ^ >X*A V.'V"•*•;\^»5 -^ 
**V^K ^*^ ""V'- ^-JM^V X*. 


Yet weep no more, but nobly claim 
A proud alliance with his fame, 

And all his glor}* share : 
His countr>'*s cause required his aid ; 
For vi<5lory to heav'n he pray'd, 

And heav*n hath heard his pray'r. 

His wound was honest, on his breast 
Lay me in peace, and let me rest, 

Th* expiring hero cry'd : 
The pitying fates his death delay, 
Till heav*n for him declares the day 

He heard, rejoic'd and dy'd." 

The pedigree of the Lowther family traced by Lord Barnard, and the 
quotation from a work on ** The Norman People " by an annonymous 
author, give many interesting details regarding this family. 

I— 18 


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In a book entitled ** The Norman People ** by an annonymous 
anthor, this reference to the Lowther family occurs : 

Lowther, or Malcael. Hervey Ralph Malcael, Normandy 11 80 (M. 
R. S.-Magn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normaniae in the M6moires de la Soci^t^ 
des Antiquaires de la Normandie). One of these paid a fine in the Bail- 
ifry of Coutances 1198 (ib.) Also Tieric Mains Catulus or Malcael, t. 
William I. had a grant of Crakanthorpe and other estates Westmorland. 
He granted lands to Holm Cultrani Abbey, and had, i. Ralph of Crakan- 
thorpe, father of William Manchael, t. Stephen, whose son William Mains 
Catalus granted to GeofiFry M. lands in Crakanthorpe 1179, and was 
ancestor of the Malcaels Ivords of Crakanthorpe, and the family of Cra- 
kanthorpe; 2. Humphry Malcal, Lord of Lowther, who granted part of 
that church to Holm Cultram (Mon ii 74-Monasticon Anglicanum). His 
son Qeoffry Mancannelle, t. Henry II. granted lands at Crakanthorpe 
to Alexander de Crakanthorpe and had issue William and Thomas de 
Lowther, who, 12th cent: witnessed a charter to Holm Cultram Abbey 
(ibid 428). Roger Mains Catulus, a third brother, was Vice Chancellor 
to Richard Coeur de Lion (Madox, exch. i. 77) From this family descend 
the Earls of Lonsdale, the Lords Crofton and the Baronets Lowther. 


Twelve very interesting letters addressed by Wolfe to his friend 
Colonel Rickson, are preserved in the National Musuem of Antiquities, 
Edinburgh. Through the courtesy of the members of the Council on the 
request of the Earl of Aberdeen, permission was granted for photographs 
to be taken of the letters, and Dr. Anderson, the Librarian, kindly 
sele<5ted two which he thought would be most suitable. 

One is a letter of eight pages, which gives a description of the 
operations at Louisbourg, and the second, of three pages is reproduced 
as more convenient for the size of this volume. 

Copies of the twelve letters are printed in the sixth volume, from a 
transcript made under the dire<5tion of Dr. Anderson. There letters with 
certain omissions, were published many years ago in Tait*s Magazine. 


These weapons, which appear to be in an excellent state of preser- 
vation, were until quite recently, in the possession of Dr. Wm. R. Fisher, 


of Hoboken, N. J., who held them in trust for the family of the late Dr. 
Edward Tudor Strong. 

With the consent of Mrs E. T. Strong, of Elizabethtown, N. Y. Dr. 
Fisher had two negatives taken of the pistols, which he generously pre- 
sented to the writer. 

When Dr. Edward Tudor Strong was leaving for California several 
years ago, in search of health, he entrusted these relics of the siege to 
Dr. Fisher, who made a memorandum at the time of the tradition pre- 
served in the family, which is here quoted in extenso. 

*' The sword is a dress sword, originally owned by Dr. Edward 
Tudor, who was surgeon in the British army in Queen Anne's reig^n. 
He was present at the siege of Quebec, and it is believed that General 
Wolfe died in his arms. The piece of sash is believed to have been worn 
by him on the occasion of this battle, and the stains upon it are believed 
to have been drops of Wolfe's blood. The pistols are believed to have 
belonged to General Wolfe, and to have been worn by him on the battle 

** Dr. Tudor settled in Connecticut after the termination of the 
French war. His son, also Dr. Edward Tudor, left the sword and pistols 
to Dr. Edward Tudor Strong, of Elizabethtown, New York, a son of the 
second Dr. Edward Tudor. 

Dr. Fisher when sending this memorandum also said that Dodtor 
Strong was unable to prove by documentary evidence the authenticity 
of the relics and therefore he had used the term ** it is believed " but 
the family tradition was positive, and to his mind convincing, as to the 
authenticity of the relics. 

A fragment of Dr. Tudor *s sash is also reproduced by permission of 
Dr. Fisher. When the sash came into the possession of Dr. Strong it 
was entire, but a member of the family cut it up and distributed portions 
of it. Dr. Strong was much grieved that the sash had not been preser\''ed 

While this work was in the press, Dr. Fisher wrote stating that the 
pistols were about to be sold, and a few weeks after a letter was received 
from Mr. Ernest Bigelow, of New- York, informing the writer that he 
had purchased the wcrapons. They are now in Mr. Bigelow *s possession. 

Mr. Bigelow has had the pistols mounted in a case and has 
eotmsted them to our care for a short time to be placed on exhibition 


with the numerous souvenirs of the siege which have been gathered 
during the preparation of this work. 


One of the most highly prized Souvenirs of the hero of Quebec, is a 
Manuscript Book of Major Wolfe's General Orders, preserved in the 
Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall. The first order is dated 
February 12th. 1748, and the work is carried down to the evening 
preceding the vidlorious a<5lion in which he fell. This book was the 
property, and is partly in the handwriting of Capt. the Hon. Lionel 
Smythe 23rd. Regt. of Foot (afterwards 5th. Viscount Strangford.) who 
served throughout the war, and was during the greater part of the time 
A.D.C. to his kinsman Earl Percey. 

A fac simile of the first page of this book forms the subje<5t of an 
illustration for which we are indebted to Captain Wylly, who kindly 
permitted a photograph to be taken. 




The Soldier's Coat upon which General Wolfe died on the Plains of 
Abraham is carefully preserved in a case in the Tower of London. 
Permission to obtain a photograph of this interesting relic was obtained 
from General Sir Hugh Gough, V. C. at the request of the Earl of 
Aberdeen, to whom we are deeply indebted. 

The sword of General Wolfe is in the Library of the Royal United 
Service Institution, Whitehall. A photograph was taken for this work 
by permission of Captain Wylly. 

The Cannon ball which is reproduced was found on the spot where 
the General fell. This is also in the same Institution. 


Three portraits of the Marquis de Montcalm are included in this 
work. ' 

The first is from a photograph of the original painting which was 
sent for this volume by the Marquis de Montcalm, Chdtean d'Av^ze, 


par le Vigand Garde, France, reproduced by Mr. Hyatt. The second Is 
from a very fine engraving in the possession of Mr. Phil^as Gagnon of 
Quebec, and the third is from a drawing in an album in the Ursuline 
Convent, Quebec, and is probably the work of one of the Nuns. The 
Marquis de Montcalm was buried in the chapel of the Ursulines. 

Whether this portrait was made from a sketch taken of Montcalm, 
or from a painting or engraving of the Marquis, is not known. 

The album of is of great interest, and contains examples of the work 
of the Nuns executed at different periods. We are indebted to the Ladies 
of the Community and to the Rev. Lionel, St. G. Lindsay, for permission 
to copy this portrait. 


Permission to publish this portrait was courteously given by M. le 
comte Jacques de Clermont-Tonnerre of Chateau de Brug^y, Mame, the 
owner of the painting. As an excellent photogravure had been made by 
Messrs Goupil & Cie of Paris, arrangement was made with Messrs Little 
Brown & Co of Boston, for the number of copies required for this edition. 
The authors desire to acknowledge the courtesy extended to them by 
Messrs Little Brown & Co. 


The original painting from which this photogravure was made is in 
the promission of Madame la Comtesse de Saint-Sauveur- Bougainville. 

The plate was made by Mr. Hyatt from a photograph sent by M. R. 
dc Kerallain, of Quimper, France. In the centre of the frame, at the foot, 
a small eagle will be observed, which fonns the ornament of a Louis XIV 
time piece standing on the mantle piece of the room in which the portrait 

A very valuable painting of Madame Flore de Bougainville has 
Ixren reproduced for this work though the courtesy of Madame la com- 
tcHHc do Saint-Sauveur Bougainville. This painting has not been hitherto 


The most fiuniliar portrait of the Marquis de Wvis appears to be the 
painting by Madame Haudebourt in the gallery at Versailles, 

Moths to illustrations 279 

A particular interest, however, is attached to the photogravure 
which accompanies this volume as it is made from a copy of a painting 
in the possession of the Marquis de L6vis, sent to the authors for this 
work. We are unable to say which is the most faithful representation of 
the Marquis. 


Reference is made in several works published about a century ago 
to a large model of the city of Quebec, them in the course of construction. 
It appears to have been designed by Jean Baptiste Duberger with the 
assistance of Captain By, who gave his name to By -Town, now Ottawa. 
The model is thirty-five feet in length, and was taken to England in 
181 1, and deposited in Woolwich Arsenal. 

It is claimed by one writer to have disappeared several years ago, 
but this is incorrect. 

Through the courtesy of Major Boileau, R. A., a pass was obtained 
for a photograph to be taken of the model. 

Mr. James Hyatt, of the Rembrandt Portrait Studio, London visited 
Woolwich arsenal and examined the model, but he found it situated in a 
very difficult position. By attaching a camera to the top of a ladder 
placed in an inclined position an excellent negative was obtained, from 
which the engraving in this volume was made. An enlargement of the 
negative was also executed by Mr. Hyatt from which it is seen that Mr. 
Duberger *s work was carefully carried out in all its detail. 

As the model was designed about forty years after the Siege of 
Quebec it will doubtless prove of some interest to those unfamilar with 
the city. A description of the model from " Lambert's Travels '* is here 

" But before I quit the subje<5t of the arts of Canada, a country 
seemingly more capable of supporting than creating genius, I must not 
omit to mention, with the approbation he deservedly merits, a gentleman 
of the name of Duberger, a native of that country, and an officer in the 
corps of engineers and military draughtsmen. He is a self taught 
genius, and has had no other advantage than what the province afforded 
him, for he has never been out of the country. He excells in the 
mechanical arts, and the drawing of military surveys, &c. He had the 
politeness to show me several of his large draughts of the country, and 


many other drawings, some of which were beautifully, done, and are 
deposited in the Engineer's office. The only corredt chart of Lower 
Canada, and which was published in London, by Paden, in the name of 
Mr. Vondenvelden, was taken by Mr. Duberger and another gentleman, 
whose names had a much greater right to appear on the chart than the 
one which is at present there. 

'* But the most important of his labours is a beautiful model of 
Quebec, upon which he is at present employed, in conjunction with a 
school -fellow of mine, Captain By of the Engineers, whom I had the 
unexpected pleasure of meeting in Canada after an absence of ten years. 
The whole of the model is sketched out, and a great part is finished, 
particularly the fortifications and the public buildings. It is upwards 
of 35 feet in length, and comprises a considerable portion of the plain of 
Abraham, as far as the spot where Wolfe died. That which is done is 
finished with exquisite neatness ; cut entirely out of wood, and modelled 
to a certain scale, so that every part will be completed with singular 
corredtness, even to the very shape and projection of the rock, the 
elevation and descents in the city, and on the plain, particularly those 
eminences which command the garrison. It is to be sent to England 
when finished, and will, no doubt, be received by the British Government 
with the approbation it merits, (i) 

(i)** It is now deposited at Woolwich, 1813." 


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